More South Carolina farmers growing hemp

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- South Carolina gave permits to more than 100 farmers in the state to grow hemp this season. That's nearly three times more than last year, which was the first year for the hemp program.

News 12 went out to Burkelo Botanicals in Wagener to meet with one of the farmers.

"Oh we're probably double what we did last year for sure," said Chip Limehouse.

Chip Limehouse is one of the eight Aiken County farmers approved to grow hemp this season. He's expecting to plant 20-25 acres this year. But before they head to the field, the seeds spend a few weeks in the greenhouse.

Kino Jung is the farm manager and says taking care of these seedlings is a full-time commitment.

"Well I'm dating a girl now but I like to say I actually have 40,001 girls I'm dating right now. These girls are extremely needy, they need to be taken care of on a daily basis," said Jung.

Jung, born in Georgia, grew hemp all over the west coast, and at first, was hesitant to tell his family.

"I had to tell my family I was growing cabbage," said Jung.

But he says he now has their full support.

"But now I tell them I'm growing hemp and they're all for it. I tell them about the benefits, the uses," said Jung.

Limehouse says hemp is an expensive product to grow and you need a little luck and good weather.

Jung also wanted to make sure there was no confusion on the effects hemp has on your brain.

"This product will not get you high at all? This is for medicinal purposes. You could smoke this entire room and it would not get you high," said Jung.

We're just going to take his word for it. This kind of hemp you can get CBD oil from so theirs is medicinal. But there's also hemp that's used for industrial uses for stuff like rope and paper. They hope to eventually branch into that too.