Commissioner Hugh Weathers: Industrial Hemp Update

Industrial hemp is a relatively new crop in South Carolina. Twenty growers from across the state received permits to grow the crop in 2018. Commissioner Hugh Weathers has been visiting with these growers and is here to tell us more about it.

  • With the constant stress of diversification of crops for farmers in SC, the law was passed in 2017 to begin an Industrial Hemp Pilot program
  • We awarded 20 permits for 2018 where each grower can grow up to 20 acres for research—partner with a university and a processor
  • This summer I have been visiting with the hemp growers at their farms to see the product, hear about the process and see what problems may be occurring
  • I have been to the Pee Dee, the Upstate, the Lowcountry and places in between to see these plants—we have growers in 14 counties throughout SC
  • We have some growers using greenhouses, some with plastic on the ground, some without
  • One grower is growing hemp for seeds