South Carolina extends deadline for prospective hemp growers

Prospective hemp farmers in South Carolina have an extra week to apply to grow the crop next year in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

State regulators extended the deadline to Sept. 22 because of the flooding caused by Irma.

Even before the hurricane, however, South Carolina farmers were showing light interest in growing hemp. The state had just eight applications before the initial deadline of Sept. 15, said Clint Leach, the state’s assistant agriculture commissioner.

South Carolina is requiring prospective hemp farmers to grow at least 20 acres of hemp, a size requirement that doesn’t exist in other hemp states. Also, interested farmers need both a buyer for their crop and an agreement with a research university.

Leach said that despite the limitations, farmers in South Carolina are interested in trying hemp and that he expects all 20 available licenses will be awarded.