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The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) is accepting applications for hemp farming permits for the 2021 growing season from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28.

South Carolina’s Hemp Farming Program grew from 20 farmers in 2018 to 265 farmers in 2020, and the program has changed each year as state and federal laws are updated, according to the SCDA.

Industrial hemp has a variety of uses, from textiles and fibers to fuel and food products.

Federal officials signed off on South Carolina’s State Hemp Plan in April 2020, and the SCDA expects to continue into 2021.

Those interested in receiving a South Carolina hemp farming permit must meet the following requirements:

  • Provide proof of state residency
  • Receive a criminal background check
  • Provide a Farm Service Agency farm number
  • Pay a $100 nonrefundable application fee and a $1,000 permit fee
  • Provide GPS coordinates of all locations on which hemp will be grown
  • Submit application and all required materials by the Feb. 28, 2021 deadline
  • Attend an SCDA orientation and sign a Hemp Farming Agreement before possessing any hemp, including clones and seeds.

All farmers must apply through the SCDA’s online portal. There are no paper or printable applications.