Warm dirt can’t come soon enough for South Carolina’s newly instated hemp farmers. This spring — when the ground is ready — the state’s first contingent of hopeful cultivators will sow seeds for its new Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. This fellowship of farmers, 20 strong, is ready to watch their cannabis grow.
Whether the state warms up to hemp is another question. That will depend almost entirely on whether that green can turn into gold.
The announcement came just days before last Christmas — South Carolina’s Department of Agriculture named 20 would-be hemp farmers in 15 counties throughout the state to grow up to 20 acres of industrial hemp each, for research purposes. Happy holidays, indeed.
This year 20 farmers can grow up to 20 acres each; next year the plan is to allow 40 farmers up to 40 acres each; and so on.
South Carolina is now one of the 33 states that have legal provisions for growing hemp. Joining places like North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Colorado — the leader in production — the state is easing its way