Tags: Marijuana Legalization | US State Facts | industrial hemp | South Carolina | key players

Legalizing Weed: Key Players in South Carolina's Legalization of Industrial Hemp Farming

By    |   Tuesday, 01 Dec 2015 03:05 PM

Despite a longtime federal ban on hemp production, sales of products made from the plant have flourished in recent years. This has prompted several states, including South Carolina, to enact laws legalizing hemp for industrial production.

While the plant is related to the marijuana drug, hemp has no drug-like qualities. With the federal government partially legalizing hemp production in the 2014 Farm Bill, the industrial hemp industry looks poised to take off, possibly eliminating the need to import hemp from countries that have already lifted their bans.

South Carolina is one of the most recent states to legalize hemp production, with the following people playing crucial roles in the process.

Urgent: Should Marijuana Be Legalized in All States?

1. State Sen. Kevin L. Bryant (R-Anderson County)
In 2014, Sen. Kevin L. Bryant introduced Senate Bill 839, which removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana. As The Daily Chronic noted, this would effectively make it legal to cultivate hemp because it would not be subject to the same restrictions as marijuana. Unlike other bills that only legalized hemp farming for research purposes, SB 839 allows "the manufacture of industrial hemp products, and scientific, agricultural, or other research related to other lawful applications for industrial hemp."

2. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
In 2015, Gov. Nikki Haley signed into law Senate Bill 839, the bill that permitted the cultivation of hemp for industrial purposes, as reported by the Tenth Amendment Center. Gov. Haley has signed other bills related to hemp and cannabis. As South Carolina television station WYFF noted, in 2014, Haley signed into law a bill legalizing some forms of medical marijuana, including extract from the cannabis plant used to make cannabis oil, shown to be beneficial for a variety of conditions, such as epilepsy.

3. State Sens. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) and Paul Campbell (R-Berkeley)
In March 2015, Sens. Tom Davis and Paul Campbell introduced Senate Bill 559, which according to the Tenth Amendment Center established guidelines for issuing licenses for industrial hemp farming. This was an important development because while many states have legalized industrial hemp production, not all of them have implemented it. SB 559, however established the initial steps necessary to bring legal hemp production to fruition.

VOTE NOW: Is South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Doing a Good Job?

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Despite a longtime federal ban on hemp production, sales of products made from the plant have flourished in recent years. This has prompted several states, including South Carolina, to enact laws legalizing hemp for industrial production.
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2015-05-01
Tuesday, 01 Dec 2015 03:05 PM
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