South Carolina accepting applications for 2021 hemp farming season

South Carolina News

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Entrepreneurs looking to cut their teeth in a fresh market have a new opportunity in South Carolina. Applications to grow hemp are now open.

“Would absolutely encourage anybody and everybody who has the land and time to be able to grow the hemp to do so,” said Ariel Ezekiel, Holland Hill Farm.

Right now, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture reports their hemp farming program is more stable now after the federal government approved the state’s hemp plan in 2020. There are 265 hemp farmers in South Carolina. That’s a big jump from the initial 20 hemp farmers in 2018 when the hemp program first started.

Ezekiel said, “The more people that we have in South Carolina that decide to it, it gives us the opportunity to further the research with hemp and find out where we can go with it in the industry in that aspect.”

Scientists at Augusta University are researching CBD, a product from hemp. In October last year, an immunologist found that CBD could help stabilize lung function.

While the applications to grow hemp in South Carolina are open, certain requirements have to be met first. You need to have proof you live in the state, complete a criminal background check, pay fees, and do several other things.

Ezekiel added, “It’s hard to tell where it will go but again if we don’t have farmers trying to grow the crop then the progress is going to be very slow.”

SOUTH CAROLINA (AP/WJBF) – Farmers looking to grow hemp in South Carolina can start applying for state permits beginning Jan. 1.

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture says it’ll accept applications for this year’s growing season through the end of February. The state’s hemp farming program has grown from just 20 farmers in 2018 to 265 farmers in 2020. The program has remained in flux as state and federal laws change.

The agency says the program is now more stable after the federal government approved the state’s hemp plan earlier this year. There are now six full-time staffers devoted to hemp regulation in South Carolina.

To find out more about the state’s hemp farming program, click here.

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