Want a permit to grow hemp legally in South Carolina? Take a number… This year, the SC Dept. of Agriculture approved only 20 applications for hemp growing permits in SC. For next year, 162 farmers have signed up for hemp permits – a maximum of 40 hemp permits will be approved, and the “winners” will be announced in September. What is SC’s pilot hemp growing program, and how can you get a permit to grow hemp in South Carolina?
Hemp Permits Under SC’s Pilot Hemp Program
The SC legislature has authorized farmers to grow hemp, but only if they are awarded a permit from the SC Dept. of Agriculture.
What are the Requirements to Get a Hemp Permit in SC?
Hemp farmers must comply with the requirements of SC’s pilot program, which is currently authorized by the federal 2014 Farm Bill. Requirements include:
- GPS coordinates for all growing locations must be provided in the application;
- No direct fencing is required;
- The hemp plants cannot contain greater than .3 percent THC content;
- Crops must be tested by an ISO certified laboratory;
- If the content is greater than .3 percent THC, crops must be destroyed or reconditioned;
- You must own the land or provide written permission from the landowner;
- You must partner with a college or university;
- You must pass a background check;
- Industrial hemp can be transported across state lines if it is legal in the destination state;
- There is a $50 application fee; and
- If the permit is issued, there is a $500 permit fee.
How Does the Dept. of Agriculture Decide Who Get a Hemp Permit?
The Dept. of Agriculture is not issuing permits to every person who applies – only 40 are authorized by the legislature, and they are considering a number of factors when choosing who gets the hemp permits, including:
- Whether the application is complete;
- Your farming experience;
- Geographic balance across South Carolina;
- Whether you have an accredited college/university partner;
- The purpose of the crop;
- Processor experience and location; and
- Your ability to secure equipment and financing.
Will More Hemp Permits be Available for 2020?
It’s possible, depending on what legislation is passed in both the SC and US legislatures. The 2018 Hemp Farming Act has been approved by the US Senate and is waiting for a vote in the House – if passed, it will remove industrial hemp with a THC concentration of less than .3 percent from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act, remove industrial hemp from Schedule I, and legalize hemp farming in any state that also legalizes it. So, if the Hemp Farming Act passes, then the SC legislature will need to pass additional legislation authorizing hemp farming in SC. Hopefully, unlimited and without the need to compete for permits to grow…
Myrtle Beach Hemp and CBD Oil Attorneys in SC
If you are considering growing hemp, applying for a 2020 permit, or selling CBD oil or other CBD products, you need to consult with an attorney who is familiar with the quickly changing laws and regulations. Call Coastal Law now at (843) 488-5000 or contact us through our website to talk with a Myrtle Beach business law and CBD oil attorney today.