South Carolina farmers aren’t exactly breaking down doors to get licenses to grow hemp.
No one has applied for one of the initial 20 available licenses since the application process opened Aug. 1. It ends Sept. 15.
The General Assembly agreed earlier this year to allow farmers to start growing industrial hemp, which has a variety of uses, from textiles to body lotions. But to be clear, industrial hemp is not not marijuana. Marijuana will get you high. Hemp will not.
“We’ve had numerous phone calls and questions – maybe hundreds,” said Clint Leach, the S.C. Agricultural Department’s assistant commissioner. “But we have not received one application. I would have thought we would have some by now.”
Leach said he has talked to several farmers who might file by Sept. 15.
“I’ve talked to farmers as recently as Monday who have said they are interested,” he said. “I know they are working on their applications.”
One farmer who is exploring the possibility of growing hemp is Madison Turnblad, who farms 3,550 acres of cotton, peanuts and corn in Calhoun