SCDA Launches Online Hemp Application Portal, Moves Orientations Online

COLUMBIA — As the response to the COVID-19 outbreak unfolds, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) has made some modifications to the hemp farming permit application process to allow farmers to navigate the process more easily.

The deadline to apply for a hemp farming permit is still March 31, 2020, at 4:30 p.m. SCDA will not be modifying this deadline.

However, we’ve made some changes to the process:

Hemp handlers and processors will eventually be able to apply through the portal as well, but for now only hemp farming permit applications are being accepted.

  • Because of difficulties obtaining background checks during the COVID-19 response, we will accept applications without a completed background check. We will not issue permits until an applicant completes a background check.

Remember, in the 2020 permitting year, SCDA will no longer allow “responsible parties” to grow under another farmer’s permit, so each person who wishes to farm hemp must apply for a permit.

SCDA offices remain open for business, though some staff are working remotely. If you have questions, please email, call Vanessa Elsalah at 803-734-8339, or visit