South Carolina Industrial Hemp Program
The new Farm Bill passed in December of 2018 removed hemp from the Controlled Substance List creating a path for banking, insurance, and expanded marketing opportunities. The US Department of Agriculture issued its interim rule on October 31, 2019. The information about the final rule can be found here https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/hemp.
The new federal guidelines are more restrictive than what South Carolina growers had operated under for 2018 and 2019. Some things that are points of interest include Total THC not to exceed 0.30%, 15-day testing window prior to harvest, and SCDA sampling of specific plant parts for total THC. The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) received approval for the new state hemp plan the first part of April 2020. https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/SouthCarolinaHempStatePlan.pdf
The application deadline for 2020 grower permits was March 31, 2020, over 350 farmers applied. Applications for handler and processor licenses are still available on the SCDA website.
More information and contact information can be found on the SCDA Industrial Hemp Program webpage. Clemson Extension is working with growers of varying levels of experience as this new industry develops. Clemson Extension serves hemp growers by sharing information, providing in-field consultations, and diagnosing plant and pest problems using the Plant Problem Clinic and Ag Service Lab. Clemson University researchers are conducting field trials on Clemson Research Centers around the state.
The Department of Pesticide Regulation has released a list of pesticides that will be allowed for use on hemp in South Carolina. Before using any product on this list, growers should check with their buyer/processor to ensure no residue issues will arise.
For all inquires regarding requirements and acquiring a permit to participate in the SC Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, please contact SCDA directly:
- Vanessa Elsalah, SCDA Hemp Outreach Specialist
For other inquiries and general questions please reach out to the Clemson Industrial Hemp Program Team:
- David DeWitt, Hemp Program Coordinator, Extension Associate
- Justin Ballew, Production, Extension Associate
- Nathan Smith, Economics
- Kelly Flynn, Research Coordinator
Clemson Hemp Program Contact Form