SC Dept. of Agriculture to accept applications for hemp farming, processing for 2020 growing season

State - Regional

FILE – In this April 19, 2018, file photo, Seth Crawford, co-owner of Oregon CBD, displays hemp seeds being prepared for sale to industrial hemp farmers at his facility in Monmouth, Ore. A global hemp research lab announced Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Oregon, is part of a larger movement to bring the standardization to hemp that traditional crops like corn and cotton enjoy. (AP Photos/Gillian Flaccus, File)

COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – The South Carolina Department of Agriculture will soon accept applications for hemp farming and processing for the 2020 growing season.

Starting on Saturday, Feb. 1, the department will accept applications “for hemp farming, handling and processing permits for the 2020 growing season,” SCDA says.

SC hemp farming program is in its third year. In 2018, there were 20 farmers and at the end of the 2019 growing season, SCDA says there were 114 farms and 43 processors.

“In 2020, there is no cap on the number of permits SCDA can issue, and no cap on hemp acreage,” the SCDA also says. “SCDA will no longer allow ‘responsible parties’ growing under another farmer’s permit, meaning each person who wishes to farm hemp must apply for a permit.”

The requirements for a hemp farming permit include:

  • “Proof of South Carolina residency”
  • “Criminal background check”
  • “$100 nonrefundable application fee and $1,000 permit fee”
  • “GPS coordinates of all locations on which hemp will be grown”
  • “Attending an SCDA orientation and signing a Hemp Farming Agreement prior to possessing any hemp, including clones and seeds”

“SCDA will also license hemp processors and, for the first time this year, hemp handlers, a category that includes transporters, seed dealers, laboratories, and others who handle hemp. Separate permitting fees, facility requirements, validation inspections and certificate of occupancy are required,” according to the department.

Applications for farming will be available through March 31. Applications for processing and handling will be open through the end of the year. Those applications can be found here.

A free hemp resource event will be held at the Phillips Market Center in West Columbia on February 28 from 9 a.m .until 4 p.m.

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