PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode August 24, 2019


>>Sreenivasan: ON THIS SPECIAL EDITION FOR SATURDAY, AUGUST 24: THE STATE OF PLAY IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE IN NORTH CAROLINA; PRESIDENT TRUMP ARRIVES IN FRANCE FOR THE G7 SUMMIT; AND IN OUR SIGNATURE SEGMENT, WHY NORTH CAROLINA FARMERS ARE SWITCHING FROM TOBACCO TO HEMP. NEXT ON PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND.>>Sreenivasan: GOOD EVENING, AND THANKS FOR JOINING US. WE’RE HERE IN CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, HOST TO NEXT YEAR’S REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION, WHICH WILL BE HELD AT THE SPECTRUM CENTER RIGHT BEHIND ME. PRESIDENT TRUMP CARRIED THIS STATE COMFORTABLY IN 2016, AND REPUBLICANS CONTROL BOTH STATE LEGISLATIVE HOUSES. IN A FEW WEEKS, VOTERS WILL TURN OUT FOR THE STATE’S NINTH DISTRICT CONGRESSIONAL SEAT. THAT CONTEST MAY BE AN EARLY BAROMETER FOR THE 2020 RACE IN THIS CRUCIAL BATTLEGROUND STATE. WE’LL HAVE MORE FROM NORTH CAROLINA AFTER THESE HEADLINES. PRESIDENT TRUMP ARRIVED IN FRANCE TODAY FOR THE START OF THE THREE-DAY G7 SUMMIT. BEFORE A DINNER TONIGHT WITH ALL SEVEN LEADERS, MR. TRUMP HAD A ONE-ON-ONE LUNCH WITH FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON. MACRON SAID THE SUMMIT WILL BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS “HOW TO DECREASE TENSIONS AND FIX THE SITUATION IN TERMS OF TRADE.” AFTER A WEEK OF RELATIVE CALM IN HONG KONG, THOUSANDS OF ANTI- GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATORS RESUMED PROTESTS TODAY REITERATING THEIR PRO-DEMOCRACY DEMANDS. POLICE FIRED TEAR GAS INTO THE CROWDS, WHO THREW MOLOTOV COCKTAILS, BRICKS, AND ATTEMPTED TO TEAR DOWN SO-CALLED “SMART” LAMP POSTS FITTED WITH SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS. HONG KONG’S CHIEF EXECUTIVE, CARRIE LAM, WROTE ON HER FACEBOOK PAGE TODAY THAT “EVERYONE IS TIRED” AND CALLED FOR PEACEFUL DIALOGUE. THE PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTERS VOWED TO CONTINUE THEIR DEMONSTRATIONS. NORTH KOREA ON SATURDAY LAUNCHED ITS LATEST ROUND OF WEAPONS TESTS. READ MORE AT www.pbs.org/newshour.>>Sreenivasan: BACK IN 1990, ADVISORS TO LATE SENATOR JESSE HELMS RAN A CONTROVERSIAL TV AD INJECTING RACE INTO AN ALREADY BITTER SENATE CONTEST. THE AD SHOWED A PAIR OF WHITE HANDS CRUMPLING AN EMPLOYMENT REJECTION LETTER. THE VOICEOVER SAID, “THEY HAD TO GIVE IT TO A MINORITY BECAUSE OF A RACIAL QUOTA,” AN ISSUE HELMS RAISED CONSTANTLY WITHOUT EVIDENCE OF ANY QUOTAS. FROM AN INCREASING NUMBER OF REPORTED HATE CRIMES TO RACIST STATEMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF, RACE IS BACK IN THE POLITICAL SPOTLIGHT. JUST RECENTLY AT A TRUMP RALLY IN NORTH CAROLINA, TRUMP SUPPORTERS CHANTED “SEND HER BACK” IN RESPONSE TO THE PRESIDENT’S COMMENTS ABOUT CONGRESSWOMAN ILHAN OMAR. YESTERDAY, I SPOKE WITH CARTER WRENN, A LONG-TIME REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST WHO ONCE WORKED ON JESSE HELMS’ CAMPAIGN AND IS NOW ADVISING GARLAND TUCKER ON HIS U.S. SENATE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY RUN AGAINST SENATOR THOM TILLIS. I BEGAN BY ASKING WHY REPUBLICANS WANT TO HOLD THEIR CONVENTION HERE NEXT AUGUST.>>I THINK THAT’S AN INSIDER KIND OF POLITICAL DECISION. THEY THINK, “WELL, WE SHOULD HAVE A CONVENTION IN A SWING STATE.”>>Sreenivasan: IS THE DEMOGRAPHIC IN NORTH CAROLINA CHANGING TO MAKE IT A SWING STATE?>>YOU KNOW, FOR YEARS, WE WERE BASICALLY A STATE WHERE DEMOCRATS OUTNUMBERED REPUBLICANS TWO OR THREE TO ONE. AND THAT WORKED OUT ALL RIGHT FOR REPUBLICANS BECAUSE A LOT OF THOSE DEMOCRATS WERE CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRATS WHO SPLIT A TICKET AND CROSSED OVER. WHAT’S HAPPENED IN, SAY, THE LAST TEN OR 15 YEARS IS THE NUMBER OF DEMOCRATS HAS DROPPED AND THE NUMBER OF INDEPENDENTS HAS GONE UP A LOT SO THAT TODAY YOU’VE GOT– THESE ARE APPROXIMATE– BUT 35% OF THE VOTERS WHO WILL VOTE DEMOCRAT, 35 WHO WILL VOTE REPUBLICAN, AND 30 WHO WERE INDEPENDENT, AND THEY SPLIT A TICKET. AND THAT DEMOGRAPHIC JUST MAKES THIS SORT OF YOUR CLASSIC SWING STATE.>>Sreenivasan: HAS RACE BECOME MORE IMPORTANT THIS YEAR OR IN THIS CYCLE?>>IT’S ALWAYS IMPORTANT, BUT… NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT. YOU KNOW, AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE 22% OF THE REGISTERED VOTERS IN NORTH CAROLINA. IN 2012, THEY WERE 22% OF THE PEOPLE THAT VOTED. WHAT HAPPENED IN ’16 WAS, AT THE END, AFRICAN AMERICAN TURNOUT DROPPED, AND THEY WERE 18% OF THE VOTE. NOW, THAT’S A HUGE HIT FOR A DEMOCRAT. PROBABLY COST HILLARY CLINTON FOUR POINTS. I THINK MAYBE– THIS IS READING TEA LEAVES– BUT MAYBE ONE OF THE REASONS THE DEMOCRATS ARE TALKING SO MUCH ABOUT RACE IS THEY WANT MOTIVATE THE BLACK VOTE SO THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN TO THEM AGAIN. BUT IS IT MORE IMPORTANT THAN IN THE PAST? NO.>>Sreenivasan: GIVEN THAT EVEN THOSE FOUR POINTS OF THE BLACK VOTE MATTERED, MIGHT HAVE MATTERED SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE SUCCESS OF DEMOCRATS, HOW DO REPUBLICANS REACH OUT AND ENSURE THAT BLACK VOTERS SUPPORT THEM?>>IT’S VERY DIFFICULT. I MEAN, IF YOU LOOK AT THE HISTORICAL TRENDS, YOU KNOW, THE REPUBLICANS WILL GET 4% OR 5% OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTE. NOW, IT’S INCHED UP OVER THE YEARS, BUT IT’S NOT SOMETHING THAT LOOKS LIKE THIS IS GOING TO BE A GREAT BREAKTHROUGH. IF A REPUBLICAN GOT 15% OF THE BLACK VOTE, THEY’D BE TICKLED TO DEATH.>>Sreenivasan: HOW DO YOU SEE NORTH CAROLINA GOING IN 2020?>>IT COULD GO EITHER WAY.>>Sreenivasan: REALLY?>>YOU KNOW, THE WAY I SEE IT, RIGHT NOW, YOU KNOW, THERE’S SOME POLLS THAT SHOW THE DEMOCRATS LEADING TRUMP BY A COUPLE OF POINTS. I THINK THAT…>>Sreenivasan: WE’RE STILL A YEAR OUT.>>I MEAN, YES, YOU WOULDN’T WANT TO GET TO VEGAS AND MAKE A BET ON ANY OF THAT. I THINK IF THE DEMOCRATS NOMINATE ONE OF THE MORE LIBERAL CANDIDATES LIKE WARREN OR SANDERS, I THINK TRUMP’S GOT A PRETTY GOOD CHANCE TO WIN IN NORTH CAROLINA. IF IT’S BIDEN, IT’S A LOT TOUGHER RACE. SO, IF THE DEMOCRATS MARCH LEFT, NORTH CAROLINA IS NOT A TERRIFICALLY LIBERAL STATE, SO I THINK THAT WOULD GIVE TRUMP A LITTLE EDGE. IF THEY NOMINATE BIDEN, THEN WE’LL JUST HAVE TO SEE. BUT BOTTOM LINE FOR ANY… ANY RACE IN NORTH CAROLINA– STATEWIDE NOW– EITHER PARTY CAN WIN.>>Sreenivasan: CARTER WRENN, THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. >>I’M GLAD TO BE WITH YOU.>>Sreenivasan: WHILE THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA ACROSS THE UNITED STATES GETS ALL THE ATTENTION, THERE IS A CLOSE COUSIN OF THE PLANT, HEMP, WHICH IS HAVING A MOMENT. IT’S NOT THE FIBER OF THE PLANT WHICH CAN BE USED TO MAKE EVERYTHING FROM T-SHIRTS TO TOTE BAGS, BUT THE OIL CALLED C.B.D. THAT CAN BE PRESSED FROM THE FLOWER. IT ISNOTAN F.D.A.-APPROVED MEDICATION, BUT PROPONENTS CONSIDER IT A PANACEA FOR A WIDE RANGE OF AILMENTS. SO, IT’S STILL LABELED A WELLNESS PRODUCT SIMILAR TO VITAMINS. WHAT WE FOUND ON OUR RECENT DRIVE THROUGH THE STATE IS THAT THIS NEW INTEREST IN HEMP MIGHT HELP SAVE A GROUP OF FARMERS GOING THROUGH A TOUGH TRANSITION. RANDY EDWARDS HAS BEEN HARVESTING TOBACCO FOR 43 YEARS. EVER SINCE HE WAS A BOY HELPING OUT ON HIS DAD’S FARM, TOBACCO HAS KEPT THE FAMILY FARM IN BUSINESS, THROUGH BLIGHT, DROUGHTS, AND HURRICANES. EDWARDS IS PROUD OF THE TOBACCO HE GROWS.>>FEEL HOW THICK THAT IS. THAT’S THE GOOD, NORTH CAROLINA QUALITY OF THE CROP.>>Sreenivasan: BUT THIS COULD BE ONE OF HIS LAST TOBACCO HARVESTS. THIS YEAR, HE’S GROWING JUST HALF OF WHAT HE DID THREE YEARS AGO. AMERICANS ARE USING LESS TOBACCO. THAT’S PART OF IT. BUT MOST OF THE TOBACCO GROWN HERE IS SOLD OVERSEAS. THE NUMBER ONE BUYER: CHINA. THANKS TO THE STRENGTH OF THE U.S. DOLLAR AND THE TRADE WAR THAT BEGAN LAST YEAR, CHINA MADE AMERICAN TOBACCO SO EXPENSIVE TO BUY THAT IT DECIMATED THE EXPORT MARKET. NORTH CAROLINA, THE BIGGEST TOBACCO-PRODUCING STATE, WAS HIT ESPECIALLY HARD. ACCORDING TO THE STATE’S FARM BUREAU, IN 2017, THE STATE EXPORTED $162 MILLION WORTH OF TOBACCO TO CHINA. IN 2018, THEY SENT $4 MILLION WORTH. THAT’S A 98% DROP. EDWARDS IS ONE OF THE FEW TOBACCO FARMERS IN HIS COUNTY WHO’S BEEN ABLE TO SURVIVE.>>WHEN I WAS A YOUNG BOY, THERE WAS 50-60 TOBACCO FARMERS IN THIS AREA. AS OF TODAY, THERE’S TWO. TWO LEFT.>>Sreenivasan: THE EDWARDS FAMILY HAVE BEEN FARMING FOR FOUR GENERATIONS, WITH THE NEXT ONE ON THE WAY. BUT TO HEDGE AGAINST THE UNSTEADINESS, THERE ARE NOW 50 ACRES OF SOLAR FIELDS PROVIDING A STEADY INCOME, AND HE’S TRYING SOMETHING NEW: HEMP. IT LOOKS AND SMELLS LIKE MARIJUANA, BUT IT’S NOT. MORE ON THAT IN A BIT. WHY IS THIS A HEMP FIELD NOW?>>BECAUSE WE’VE HAD SO MANY PROBLEMS WITH TOBACCO THE LAST TWO OR THREE YEARS WITH THE GOVERNMENT TARIFFS, AND THE U.S. DOLLAR IS AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH RIGHT NOW.>>Sreenivasan: IT’S SUCH A NEW CROP THAT THERE’S A LOT TO LEARN. ONE CHALLENGE: KEEPING MALE PLANTS OUT OF THE FIELDS. A SINGLE MALE PLANT CAN SPREAD ITS POLLEN OVER A SEVEN-MILE RANGE.>>WE’VE GOT TO GO THROUGH ALL THE PLANTS AND LOOK AT THE PLANTS.>>Sreenivasan: TO SEE IF A MALE ONE SNUCK IN HERE.>>IT POLLINATES THE REST OF THE FIELD, AND IT LOWERS THE QUALITY.>>Sreenivasan: AND IS THIS GOING TO BE MORE LABOR COSTS FOR YOU?>>MUCH MORE LABOR BECAUSE EVERY ONE OF THESE RIGHT NOW HAS GOT TO BE CUT BY HAND AND CARRIED TO THE BARNS AND DRIED, AND THEN I STRIP THE FLOWER AND BUDS TO GET IT TO THE PROCESSOR. THIS IS VERY MUCH A TEST, ONGOING TEST. WE’RE PLANTING ALL THE VARIETIES THAT WE CAN GET OUR HANDS ON.>>Sreenivasan: YOU’RE STARTING OVER.>>STARTING OVER. IT’S LIKE BACKING UP 100 YEARS IN TIME, FARMING. A LOT OF IT GOING BACK TO HAND.>>Sreenivasan: SO, YOU FEEL LIKE, WHAT, YOUR GRANDPA, YOUR GREAT-GRANDPA?>>A LOT HAVE MADE THAT COMMENT LATELY. (LAUGHS)>>Sreenivasan: EDWARDS ISN’T THE ONLY FARMER EXPERIMENTING WITH HEMP. FIVE YEARS AGO, THE 2014 FARM BILL ALLOWED STATES TO BEGIN GROWING INDUSTRIAL HEMP UNDER “AGRICULTURAL PILOT PROGRAMS” FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES. IN 2017, NORTH CAROLINA STARTED ITS HEMP PILOT PROGRAM. LAST DECEMBER, WHEN PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNED THE 2018 FARM BILL, HEMP BECAME A LEGAL AGRICULTURAL COMMODITY TO GROW ACROSS THE COUNTRY FOR THE FIRST TIME. THAT NEW STATUS HAS USHERED IN A FLOOD OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP GROWERS FROM NORTH CAROLINA TO KENTUCKY TO ARIZONA.>>I’VE NEVER… I’VE NEVER IN ALL MY DAYS HERE ON THE FARM SEEN ANYTHING THAT WAS AS HOT AS THIS HEMP PRODUCTION RIGHT NOW.>>Sreenivasan: LARRY WOOTEN IS PRESIDENT OF THE NORTH CAROLINA FARM BUREAU. THE STATE’S INDUSTRIAL HEMP PILOT PROGRAM BEGAN WITH 100 LICENSED GROWERS IN 2017.>>WE HAVE OVER 1,500 GROWERS THAT ARE LICENSED TO GROW HEMP NOW IN NORTH CAROLINA, AND IT’S GROWING EVERY DAY. THAT’S AS MANY HEMP FARMERS CERTIFIED AS WE HAVE TOBACCO FARMERS.>>Sreenivasan: AN HOUR SOUTH OF RALEIGH, TOBACCO FARMER RYAN PATTERSON BEGAN GROWING HEMP TWO YEARS AGO. HE STARTED WITH JUST 300 PLANTS IN A GREENHOUSE. THIS YEAR, HE PLANTED 120 ACRES. WHAT’D YOUR NEIGHBORS THINK? “HE’S… HE’S GROWING POT”?>>YEAH, EVERYBODY. I USED TO BE CALLED THE ‘MATO MAN BECAUSE I GROW GREENHOUSE TOMATOES. AND NOW, EVERYBODY CALLS ME THE WEED MAN.>>Sreenivasan: (LAUGHS)>>I GUESS YOU COULD BE CALLED WORSE.>>Sreenivasan: HEMP LOOKS AND SMELLS LIKE ITS COUSIN PLANT, MARIJUANA, AND IS ALSO PART OF THE CANNABIS FAMILY. BUT THERE’S A BIG DIFFERENCE: THE PRIMARY PSYCHOACTIVE COMPOUND IN MARIJUANA IS TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL, OR T.H.C. IT’S WHAT GIVES PEOPLE A HIGH. HEMP CONTAINS T.H.C., TOO, BUT IN MUCH SMALLER AMOUNTS. UNDER FEDERAL LAW, LEGAL HEMP MUST CONTAIN LESS THAN 0.3%. RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA IN STATES LIKE WASHINGTON CONTAINS AN AVERAGE OF NEARLY 20% T.H.C., MORE THAN 60 TIMES AS MUCH.>>CAN YOU SEE?>>Sreenivasan: YEAH. FRANNY TACY IS A FORMER PHARMACEUTICAL SALES REP WHO SAYS SHE FOUND HER CALLING IN HEMP FARMING. SHE GROWS 11 ACRES OF HEMP ON HER FARMS.>>HEMP IS THE ONLY CROP THAT CAN FEED, CLOTHE, SHELTER AND PROVIDE MEDICINE.>>Sreenivasan: TACY, WHO WAS THE FIRST FEMALE HEMP FARMER IN NORTH CAROLINA, IS BREEDING HEMP PLANTS TO HAVE LITTLE TO NO T.H.C.>>LEGALLY, WHAT IDENTIFIES HEMP IS THAT IT HAS LESS THAN 0.3% T.H.C.>>Sreenivasan: INSTEAD, SHE IS GROWING HEMP PLANTS TO EXTRACT A DIFFERENT CHEMICAL COMPOUND ALSO FOUND IN CANNABIS CALLED CANNABIDOIL, OR C.B.D. TACY SELLS C.B.D. PRODUCTS FROM HER FARM AND OTHERS AT ONE OF HER THREE STORES IN AND AROUND ASHEVILLE.>>THE TINCTURES ARE OUR NUMBER ONE SELLING PRODUCT.>>Sreenivasan: WHAT DO THEY DO? YOU DO WHAT WITH THIS?>>THAT IS TAKEN SUBLINGUALLY, WHICH MEANS UNDER THE TONGUE.>>Sreenivasan: SHE SELLS EVERYTHING FROM TINCTURES AND LOTIONS TO CHOCOLATE BARS AND PRE-ROLLED CIGARETTES. PROPONENTS LIKE TACY SAY THAT C.B.D. HELPS REDUCE ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, SLEEP DEPRIVATION. THOSE CLAIMS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, BUT THAT HASN’T STOPPED THE C.B.D. INDUSTRY FROM GROWING. THE C.B.D. MARKET WAS ESTIMATED TO BE WORTH $1.9 BILLION LAST YEAR AND PROJECTED TO SURPASS $20 BILLION BY 2024. BUT TACY SAYS THAT BEFORE THAT, THERE NEEDS TO BE A WAY TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF C.B.D. PRODUCTS.>>THE BIGGEST THING RIGHT NOW: THIS MARKET IS UNREGULATED. REGULATIONS ARE COMING. AND IN AN UNREGULATED MARKET, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR A CONSUMER TO KNOW IS, WHERE DID IT COME FROM?>>Sreenivasan: FOR NOW, THE F.D.A. IS STILL SETTING GUIDELINES FOR THE SALE OF PRODUCTS CONTAINING C.B.D. THEY RECENTLY SAID, “IT IS CURRENTLY ILLEGAL TO PUT INTO INTERSTATE COMMERCE A FOOD TO WHICH C.B.D. HAS BEEN ADDED, OR TO MARKET C.B.D. AS A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT.” AND THE AGENCY HAS SENT LETTERS TO COMPANIES WARNING THEM NOT TO SELL “UNAPPROVED NEW AND MISBRANDED DRUG PRODUCTS” AND NOT TO MAKE “UNSUBSTANTIATED ADVERTISING CLAIMS.” SO FAR, THE F.D.A. HAS APPROVED ONLY ONE THERAPEUTIC USE OF C.B.D., AS AN INGREDIENT IN THE ANTI-SEIZURE DRUG EPIDIOLEX, WHICH IS USED TO TREAT TWO RARE PEDIATRIC DISEASES. HOW DO YOU KNOW HOW PEOPLE REACT TO SOMETHING THAT THEY BUY AT YOUR STORE?>>WE’RE NOT PHYSICIANS. WE’RE NEVER GOING TO SAY, “THIS IS HOW YOU DOSE IT.” WE SAY, “THESE ARE THE RESOURCES. THIS IS WHAT WE FIND. THIS IS HOW IT’S GENERALLY TAKEN AND CONSUMED.” THERE’S A VERY FINE LINE THERE. WE ARE HERE TO HELP PEOPLE. IT IS A WELLNESS PRODUCT. IT IS NOT A PRESCRIPTION.>>Sreenivasan: BESIDES QUESTIONS ABOUT C.B.D.’S MEDICAL BENEFITS, THERE ARE ALSO CONCERNS ABOUT THE ACCURACY OF PRODUCT LABELING. IN A 2017 “JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION” STUDY, RESEARCHERS BOUGHT 84 C.B.D. PRODUCTS ONLINE AND FOUND 70% WERE MISLABELED, CONTAINING DIFFERENT AMOUNTS OF C.B.D. THAN ADVERTISED. TACY ALLOWS CUSTOMERS TO SEE LAB TESTS FOR EACH OF HER PRODUCTS BY SCANNING WHAT’S KNOWN AS A “QUICK RESPONSE CODE.”>>WE HAVE Q.R. CODES THAT EVEN TAKE YOU BACK TO TEST RESULTS FOR THE PRODUCT WE’VE GROWN.>>Sreenivasan: TOBACCO-TURNED- HEMP FARMERS LIKE RYAN PATTERSON AND RANDY EDWARDS ARE WELL POSITIONED FOR THIS NEW INDUSTRY. HEMP, LIKE TOBACCO, NEEDS TO DRY OUT AND CURE BEFORE BEING CONSUMED. EDWARDS SAYS HE CAN USE THE SAME EQUIPMENT FOR HEMP THAT HE’S USED FOR DECADES.>>THE BARNS THAT WE’RE USING FOR TOBACCO NOW– AND WE’VE BEEN FOR MANY YEARS CURING TOBACCO, BUT WE’RE GOING TO TRANSITION THESE BARNS OVER TO DRY HEMP.>>Sreenivasan: EDWARDS SAYS THE EXISTING BARNS AND DRYING EQUIPMENT WILL SAVE HIM HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. AFTER HE DRIES THE HEMP, EDWARDS SELLS IT TO A COMPANY THAT EXTRACTS OIL FROM THE PLANT.>>WE’RE STANDING AT OPEN BOOK EXTRACTS PROCESSING PLANT THAT’S UNDER CONSTRUCTION AT THIS MOMENT.>>Sreenivasan: CALVIN WHITFIELD IS THE DIRECTOR OF CULTIVATION AT OPEN BOOK EXTRACTS, A WHOLESALE C.B.D. OIL PRODUCER. THEIR NEW PROCESSING PLANT, BUILT ON THE GROUNDS OF A FORMER TOBACCO WAREHOUSE, IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST IN THE STATE. WHITFIELD SAYS THE INVESTMENT WILL PAY OFF.>>WE ARE PROJECTED TO DO $20 MILLION WORTH OF BUSINESS HERE IN OUR STATE. NATIONALLY, IN ABOUT 2024, WE COULD BE UPWARDS OF $20 BILLION IN OUR COUNTRY. THAT’S A RISK WORTH TAKING, TO US.>>Sreenivasan: RANDY EDWARDS DOESN’T KNOW IF HEMP WILL SOLVE HIS PROBLEMS. BECAUSE HEMP IS SO NEW, THERE’S NO CROP INSURANCE. THE BEST EDWARDS CAN DO?>>I MEAN, WE’RE ALREADY TRYING AND WORKING WITH SWEET POTATOES AND PRODUCE IN SMALL AMOUNT, AND COWS AND HAY AND SOYBEANS AND WHEAT AND CORN, ALL THE BASIC STUFF. WE’RE TRYING IT ALL, AND WE GOT NEXT DOOR RIGHT HERE, WE’RE GOING TO SOLAR FARMS.>>Sreenivasan: SO, YOU’RE A SOLAR FARMER AND A HEMP FARMER?>>WE’RE TRYING TO BE.>>Sreenivasan: WHAT HAPPENS IF THIS EXPERIMENT DOESN’T WORK OUT FOR YOU?>>WELL, WE’RE GOING TO LOSE A LOT OF MONEY. THAT’S… THAT’S IT. NO… NO BOTTOM LINE ON THAT. IT’S GOING TO BE ROUGH.>>THIS IS PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND,SATURDAY.>>Sreenivasan: FOR A LOOK AT HOW DEMOGRAPHICS IN NORTH CAROLINA ARE CHANGING AND HOW THAT MIGHT IMPACT THE 2020 ELECTION, I SPOKE RECENTLY WITH ADAM HOCHBERG. HE’S AN INSTRUCTOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF MEDIA AND JOURNALISM AND A CONTRIBUTOR TO PUBLIC RADIO’S “AMERICAN HOMEFRONT” PROJECT. WE SAT DOWN AT AN EMPTY LECTURE HALL AT U.N.C. CHAPEL HILL.>>WELL, NORTH CAROLINA IS GROWING. THERE ARE A COUPLE CITIES IN NORTH CAROLINA THAT ARE GROWING HUGELY. ONE OF THEM IS THE RALEIGH WAKE COUNTY AREA, AND THE OTHER IS THE CHARLOTTE AREA. THEY’RE BOTH AMONG THE TOP GROWING METRO AREAS IN THE COUNTRY. AND AS PEOPLE ARE MOVING IN, THOSE AREAS ARE BECOMING, FIRST, YOUNGER; SECOND, MORE EDUCATED BECAUSE THESE ARE, IN A LOT OF CASES, HIGHLY EDUCATED TECH JOBS THAT PEOPLE ARE COMING HERE TO FILL. AND AS THESE AREAS SPRAWL MAGNIFICENTLY, IT’S BECOMING MORE SUBURBAN. SO, WHEN YOU HEAR A LOT OF ELECTORAL PUNDITS SAYING THAT THE ELECTION IS GOING TO BE DETERMINED BY THE SUBURBAN MOM OR THE SUBURBAN FAMILY, WE HAVE A LOT OF THOSE SUBURBS SPRINGING UP, YOU KNOW, SEEMINGLY EVERY DAY IN NORTH CAROLINA.>>Sreenivasan: THERE HAVE ALSO BEEN A LOT OF STORIES IN THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS LOOKING AT NORTH CAROLINA IN UNFAVORABLE LIGHT. AND WHEN IT COMES TO WHO HAS ACCESS TO VOTING, HOW SIGNIFICANT IS IT IN NORTH CAROLINA THAT EVERYONE HAS EQUAL ACCESS TO GO VOTE?>>AFTER THE 2010 CENSUS, THAT WAS ALSO THE YEAR WHEN REPUBLICANS TOOK OVER STATE LEGISLATURE FOR FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME, AND THEY IMPLEMENTED WHAT IS INDISPUTABLY CALLED EXTREME GERRYMANDERING, OKAY? NOW, THE REPUBLICANS WILL POINT OUT THAT THE DEMOCRATS WERE IN CHARGE FOR A LONG TIME, AND THEY GERRYMANDERED, TOO. AND THEY ABSOLUTELY DID. WHAT WAS DIFFERENT ABOUT THE 2010 REDISTRICTING, 2011 REDISTRICTING IS, FIRST OF ALL, THE TECHNOLOGY EXISTED FOR MICRO-TARGETING OF POPULATIONS. SO, YOU CAN LOOK AT DISTRICT LINES. THERE’S NOW THE DATA ON INDIVIDUAL VOTERS WHERE YOU CAN ALMOST KNOW HOW EVERY PERSON IN EVERY HOUSE VOTES AND…>>Sreenivasan: SO, YOU CAN CARVE A DISTRICT AROUND THESE HOUSES.>>YOU CAN CARVE A DISTRICT AROUND THOSE HOUSES. THERE IS AN AFRICAN AMERICAN COLLEGE CAMPUS THAT’S SPLIT IN HALF. THAT’S A PRETTY OBVIOUS EFFORT TO SPLIT THE BLACK VOTE SO THAT AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTERS DON’T HAVE AS MUCH POWER IN ANY PARTICULAR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. IN THIS LAST ELECTION, 2018, YOU HAD THE MAJORITY OF VOTERS IN NORTH CAROLINA WHO VOTED IN A CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION CASTING THEIR BALLOTS FOR DEMOCRATS, AND YET REPUBLICANS WON TEN OF THE 13 CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS. ONE OF THE LEADERS OF THAT LEGISLATIVE REDISTRICTING EFFORT WAS SAYING… WAS ASKED, “WHY DID YOU DESIGN THESE MAPS SO THAT REPUBLICANS WON TEN OF THE 13 DISTRICTS?” HE SAID, “BECAUSE WE COULDN’T THINK OF A WAY FOR THE REPUBLICANS TO WIN 11 OF THE 13 DISTRICTS.”>>Sreenivasan: SO, REALLY, THE STRATEGY SEEMS TO BE AS MUCH AS TURN OUT YOUR TEAM TO MAKE SURE WHOEVER YOU THINK IS ON THE OTHER TEAM DOESN’T SHOW UP.>>SURE. EARLY VOTING IS ANOTHER THING THAT’S BEEN CONTENTIOUS IN NORTH CAROLINA. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF CHURCHES, MAINLY AFRICAN AMERICAN CHURCHES, THAT DO VOTER DRIVES ON SUNDAY, AFTER SUNDAY CHURCH SERVICE. THEY CALL IT “SOULS TO THE POLLS.” SO, THE LEGISLATURE PASSED A LAW THAT SAID “NO EARLY VOTING ON SUNDAY.” IT HAD THE EFFECT OF REMOVING THAT VEHICLE TO GET PEOPLE TO THE POLLS. NOW… AND WE HAVE TO SAY, ALL THESE THINGS PUT TOGETHER, DO THEY MAKE A… A HUGE IMPACT? PROBABLY NOT. DO THEY AFFECT SOME VOTES HERE AND THERE? YEAH. AND WITH SOME OF THE MARGINS THAT WE SEE IN NORTH CAROLINA, MAYBE THEY COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE. >>Sreenivasan: THAT’S ALL FOR OUR SPECIAL EDITION OF PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND FROM CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA. I’M HARI SREENIVASAN. THANKS FOR WATCHING. HAVE A GOOD NIGHT.

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