This past week the governor of South Carolina ratified a new law (A37, R59, H3559) that will allow residents to grow a limited amount of industrial hemp for sale or personal use.
Industrial hemp is a form of marijuana that has an extremely low amount of ‘THC’ in it (the psychoactive chemical that makes you high).
According to the new law, “Industrial hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dried weight basis.”
Starting this summer, the S.C. Department of Agriculture and the State Law Enforcement Division will begin to issue licenses to grow crops on up to 20 acres as a pilot program.
North Carolina approved a similar hemp growing pilot program back in 2015 and established the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission (IHC), responsible for creating the rules and regulations to be followed by pilot program participants.
Currently, about 90 percent of the hemp used in the United States for industrial purposes is imported from China. But over the past 10 years, more and more states have been legalizing the production of industrial hemp (there are currently 31 states that have legalized industrial hemp growth).