South Carolina has launched its industrial hemp pilot program, the first legal planting of the crop there in decades.
The state’s agriculture department has issued permits for 20 farmers to grow industrial hemp on 20-acre parcels. The state also requires those farmers work with a research institution, and to have links to a commercial production group. 40 permits are expected to be issued next year.
“The farmers, researchers and processors who came together to launch the hemp industry in South Carolina are true visionaries,” Lucas Snyder, founder and executive director of the South Carolina Hemp Farmers Association, said in a press release.
“In just a few weeks in their fields, they have made tremendous strides and discovered critical facts about the variations in our state’s micro climates, topographies and support networks,” he added, “which will go a long way toward helping hemp realize its full potential in South Carolina.”
Snyder said hemp cultivation is also attracting a new generation of farmers in South Carolina, including those looking for crops that have stable pricing and multiple end uses.