South Carolina Hemp Farmers Update

With the adoption of Bill 3559 in the South Carolina legislature, farmers are now allowed to cultivate industrial hemp in South Carolina for the first time since World War II. The bill allowed for farmers to apply for permits to grow industrial hemp with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. The farmers first had to meet certain requirements. The farmers needed to have agricultural experience, an accredited college/ university partner, a purpose for the crop, signed letters of intent with processors, the ability to secure equipment and financing needed to run an operation and the farmers need to be able to pass an state and federal background check with no felonies and no drug charges in the past 10 years. 131 farmers across the state applied for a permit and 20 farmers were selected. South Carolina Department of Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers said “The Industrial Hemp Pilot Program creates a new opportunity for South Carolina farmers to increase crop diversity. Interest in the program was strong and the Department of Agriculture worked diligently to select a broad representation of growers.” The 20 farmers selected represent 15 counties and are permitted to grow roughly 365 acres across South Carolina in 2018. Due to the abundance of qualified farmers who did not receive a permit, South Carolina Hemp Farmers Association is pushing for new legislation to make sure than any qualified farmer who submits a permit and passed the requirements is allowed to take part in the establishment and growth of the South Carolina industrial hemp industry. For the press release from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture regarding the 2018 Industrial Hemp Program please visit:

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