LAKE CITY, SC (WBTW) - An industrial hemp extraction plant is coming to Lake City in Florence County. The industrial hemp may be the new cash crop for farmers and can be used for several things, including possible health treatments.
Those involved in the hemp extraction industry claim the product can be used to treat seizures, in addition to other illnesses. Facility organizers say the project will bring much-needed job to Lake City.
"This creates a product to help people that are suffering from seizures, from neurological disorders," says plant co-organizer Billy Morris. "It can have a tremendous benefit from people who are suffering."
Planners say this facility will bring about 25 jobs to Lake City upon opening, with the possibility of more employment opportunities after the plant is in operation.
State agricultural officials will offer 20 permits to farmers across the state, allowing them to grow hemp. Farmers in South Carolina must apply for the grow permit through the department of agriculture by July 15.
Co-organizers of the Lake City plant hope to start renovation on the building later this year in anticipation of the first growing season in spring 2018. Agricultural leaders are hopeful that the hemp plants will be just as profitable as tobacco once was in the Pee Dee region.
Farmers will bring their crops to the Lake City facility for the hemp to be extracted.
"They have a patented process where they will grind the materials down, extract the materials and everything that will come in will be used 100%," explains Morris. "There will be no waste."
Agricultural leaders are hopeful that the hemp plants will be just as profitable as tobacco once was in the Pee Dee region.