Application process to grow hemp in SC starts August 1st (Photo: CBS)
Columbia, SC (WLTX) – Starting August 1, South Carolina farmers will be able to apply for a permit to grow hemp as part of the South Carolina Agriculture Department’s (SCDA) industrial hemp pilot program.
Jerry Watson, fourth generation farm owner of Watsonia Farms on the edge of Saluda County, says his family has been in business for almost a century.
“Next year we’ll be in business 100 years,” Watson said. For most of those years, Watson says they only grew peaches. “We couldn’t make peaches always, so we started diversifying,” Watson said. Along with eggplants and 13 other crops Watsonia farms now grows, Watson is looking to add hemp to the list. “Less water, no herbicides or pesticides, we’re going to try it,” Watson said. He’s not the only one looking to grow it. “Well, the phone’s been ringing off the wall,” said SCDA Commissioner Hugh Weathers. Weathers says farmers all across the state have shown interest, but they’ll only choose 20. “Twenty