Tags: Marijuana Legalization | legalizing weed | hemp | south carolina | farming

Legalizing Weed: 3 Facts About South Carolina's Legalization of Industrial Hemp Farming

By    |   Thursday, 25 Feb 2016 06:42 PM

Starting in 2014, South Carolina began legalizing the research and farming of industrial hemp, ahead of the United States Congress’s passage of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015, which allowed the cultivation of industrial hemp for research purposes.

Unlike attempts at legalizing its psychoactive counterpart, marijuana or weed in the U.S., industrial hemp legalization has been gaining traction, particularly in southern states like South Carolina, which sees the versatile crop as a replacement of declining tobacco demand.

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1. Senate Bill 839


This is the bill that South Carolina passed that designated hemp as an industrial crop, allowing the mass cultivation of the plant. Senate Bill 839, "reclassifies cannabis possessing less than 0.3 percent THC [tetrahydrocannabinol] as an industrial crop rather than a controlled substance," said the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

2. Law hits a hiccup

When Gov. Nikki Haley signed the bill into law that legalized industrial hemp farming in South Carolina with a license, the legislation failed to assign a state agency to handle the permit process. This omission caused a delay in the startup, according to the Free Times.

3. Licensure

According to South Carolina Policy Council, Senate Bill 0559 was introduced March 2015 to the address the licensing issue.

Applicants could apply at the Division of Regulatory and Public Service Programs.

The bill also prescribed validating licenses for a 24-month period, which can be renewed thereafter, at a cost of $300 plus $50 per acre for every acre beyond 20 acres used to grow hemp, the SCPC reported.

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Unlike attempts at legalizing its psychoactive counterpart, marijuana or weed in the U.S., industrial hemp legalization has been gaining traction, particularly in southern states like South Carolina, which sees the versatile crop as a replacement of declining tobacco demand.
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