Abundant Labs now operating in Canton

Abundant Labs CEO Chip Miller looked like a college chemistry professor as he started drawing diagrams and compound percentages on the blackboard while trying to explain what it is the new enterprise is doing in Canton.

The Abundant Labs partners announced this summer they would be opening the $12 million state-of-the-art hemp processing facility inside the NEO Corporation building off I-40 in Canton and has now been in production for a month. 

Legislature to ban smokable hemp in N.C.

Hemp has only been legal in North Carolina for a couple of years, but already the plant is presenting an issue in the criminal justice system that the legislature is still trying to iron out. 

Outdoor economy efforts continue

If the United States’ outdoor recreation industry were its own country, it would be the world’s 25th largest economy. And, while towns like Moab and Boulder and Jackson Hole might have more name recognition on a nationwide scale, Western North Carolina has everything it takes to command a large piece of that hypothetical country’s pie.

Waynesville’s Masonic Temple building ready for tenants

After years of disuse, a hidden gem in the heart of Waynesville’s downtown is finally ready to reclaim its rightful role as one of the community’s social and business hubs. 

TWSA discusses ways to soften N.C. 107 impacts

With right-of-way acquisition for the N.C. 107 project in Sylva set to begin in January, the Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority is hoping to adopt new policies this December aimed at assisting ratepayers impacted by the endeavor. 

Sylva’s White Moon serves up more than just coffee

It’s a serendipitous sort of happenstance when you stumble across the White Moon coffee shop. Tucked in the depths of Mill Street in downtown Sylva, the cozy establishment is meant to be a refuge from whatever may be distracting you from hearing the most important voice in your life — your own.

Updated relocation list released for N.C. 107 project

CORRECTION: Due to inaccurate information presented at the July 23 government meeting when the road project was discussed, the number of businesses slated for relocation in the story is incorrect. The project will require relocation of businesses located on 39 parcels of property, but the total number of businesses on those parcels is 55. The list of businesses included with the story names all 55 businesses.

The number of businesses to be displaced by the upcoming N.C. 107 project in Sylva could be fewer than the 54 named in last spring’s preliminary plans, but the cost and duration of the project will be greater than initially expected, according to an update N.C. Department of Transportation Division Engineer Brian Burch gave to an assemblage of Jackson County’s elected leaders last week. 

Small-town sequel: Waynesville’s Smoky Mountain Cinema reopens

Standing in the lobby of the Smoky Mountain Cinema in Waynesville this past Monday morning, owner Greg Israel is putting the final touches on two years of planning and renovations to the theater for its grand reopening on Tuesday.

“I’m tired, mostly,” Israel chuckled. “But, I’m happy. Very pleased. I think it’s come a long way and people are going to be very happy about it.”

Espresso yourself: Orchard Coffee opens in Waynesville

Halfway up a steep hill in downtown Waynesville, and just a stone’s throw from the Haywood County Historic Courthouse, sits Orchard Coffee.

“I love coffee because I love people,” said Cabell Tice, co-owner of Orchard Coffee. “I’ve always really enjoyed connecting with people. Coffee is a vessel for reaching people — there’s nothing like a conversation over coffee.” 

Crafting together community: How craft beer impacted WNC

According to recent numbers, there are around 75 breweries within Asheville and greater Western North Carolina. And 19 of those breweries are located west of Asheville. 

But, back in 1999, when The Smoky Mountain News launched, this was the number of breweries in our jurisdiction — zero. None. Not a single one. The idea of craft beer, let alone something concocted in your backyard, was not only somewhat unheard of, it never was thought to be something of an economic driver. 

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