South Carolina Sets Out Timeline for 2020 Hemp Permitting
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) is working on gathering comments on the USDA’s interim final rule setting out a national regulatory framework for hemp, as well as writing a new state plan for its hemp program.
In order to comply with state law, SCDA submitted a “placeholder” state hemp plan to USDA in August because the interim final rule had not yet been released. SCDA intends to open applications for the 2020 growing season on Feb. 1, 2020. However, in an abundance of caution, it plans to extend current permits through May 1, 2020. See the South Carolina Hemp Farming Program timeline at agriculture.sc.gov.
For the 2020 growing season, SCDA will no longer allow permitted farmers to let responsible parties grow hemp under their license. Anyone growing hemp in South Carolina will have to be a permitted hemp farmer. Current responsible parties who intend to grow hemp next year should make plans to apply for their own permit, or to destroy any hemp in their possession in accordance with state law when the permit under which they are licensed expires.
The agency is inviting hemp farmers and other stakeholders to share their concerns and questions about the interim final rule with SCDA, or to submit comments to USDA themselves. SCDA has posted a brief summary of the interim rule online. Comments on the rule can be emailed to [email protected] Please include a name, contact information, and a Hemp Farming License number, if applicable.