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S.C. farmers can apply to grow hemp in 2021 starting Friday

The Department of Agriculture will accept applications for hemp farming permits for the 2021...
The Department of Agriculture will accept applications for hemp farming permits for the 2021 growing season from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, 2021.(KOTA)
Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 11:30 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - The South Carolina Department of Agriculture will accept applications for hemp farming permits for the 2021 growing season from Friday through Feb. 28.

The state’s Hemp Farming Program has grown from 20 farmers in 2018 to 265 farmers in 2020 – and each year, the program has changed as state and federal laws changed.

Requirements to receive a hemp farming permit include:

  • Proof of South Carolina residency
  • A criminal background check (A new check is required each permit year.)
  • FSA (Farm Service Agency) farm number
  • $100 nonrefundable application fee and $1,000 permit fee
  • GPS coordinates of all locations on which hemp will be grown
  • Submitting an application and all required materials by the Feb. 28 deadline
  • Attending an SCDA orientation and signing a Hemp Farming Agreement before possessing any hemp, including clones and seeds
  • All farmers must apply through SCDA’s online portal at agriculture.sc.gov/hemp. There are no paper or printable applications.

Because it may take several weeks for farmers to obtain FSA farm numbers and background checks, applicants should review requirements and begin the process as soon as possible.

Permits are only good for the current year, so 2020 permit holders who wish to farm in 2021 must apply for a new permit.

The state not award a 2020 farmer a 2021 permit unless he or she has reported his or her 2020 hemp acreage to the FSA by the 2021 application deadline.

If you would like more information about the South Carolina Hemp Farming Program, visit agriculture.sc.gov/hemp or email hempstaff@scda.sc.gov.

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