SC Dept. of Agriculture will begin accepting hemp farming applications on Friday for the 2021 growing season

State - Regional

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Department of Agriculture will begin accepting applications for hemp farming for the 2021 growing season on New Year’s Day.

The state’s Hemp Farming Program has grown from 20 farmers when the initiative started in 2018 to 265 farmers in 2020.

Leaders with the SC Dept. of Agriculture say the program changes each year as state and federal laws change.

“When the federal government approved South Carolina’s State Hemp Plan in April 2020, the program entered a new period of regulatory stability, one that SCDA expects to continue in 2021. The agency now has six full-time staffers devoted to hemp regulation,” the agency said.

To be considered, you must show proof that you live in South Carolina and pass a criminal background check. You’ll also need a farm service agency number and you’ll be required to submit GPS coordinates of where you will grow the hemp.

There is also a $100 nonrefundable application fee and $1,000 permit fee.

All farmers must apply through SCDA’s online portal at agriculture.sc.gov/hemp. You much submit your application and all required materials by February 28th.

Permits are only good for the current year, so 2020 permit holders who want to continue farming hemp in 2021 must apply for a new permit.

For information about the South Carolina Hemp Farming Program, visit agriculture.sc.gov/hemp or email hempstaff@scda.sc.gov.

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