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Hemp To Be Next Cash Crop In South Carolina

Ron Strider

Well-Known Member
Friday farmers interested in growing hemp met with the SC Department of Agriculture to learn how to get involved with a pilot program launching August 1.

Governor Henry McMaster signed Bill 3559 into law in May, making it legal for industrial hemp to be grown for research purposes in South Carolina. The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) will administer the application and permitting process.

The legislation allows for up to 20 farmers to receive permits to grow industrial hemp. The farmers who receive permits will each be allowed to grow up to 20 acres of the crop. Farmers selected will represent all growing areas of the state.

At the learning session hosted by Representative Wendell Gilliard, Gilliard said growing hemp could eventually be a multi-billion dollar industry in the state. Once farmers start growing the crop, Gilliard said other business will open in the state to process the product. He believed this would lead to job creation in rural, depressed areas of the state.

"The industrial hemp bill adds another opportunity for South Carolina farmers to increase crop diversity," said Hugh Weathers, South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture.

To qualify for a permit, you must:

-Be a South Carolina resident,

-Pass a state and federal background check administered by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division,

-Have a signed contract with an industrial hemp manufacturer/processor, and

-Submit GPS coordinates for the land where the industrial hemp will be grown.

SCDA officials anticipate the application will be available August 1. For more information regarding the application and permitting process visit agriculture.sc.gov.

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News Moderator: Ron Strider 420 MAGAZINE ®
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