South Carolina


The Deep South’s Gradual Evolution on Cannabis

Marijuana often demonstrates the ability to win over even the most conservative of individuals. That said, winning over the hearts and minds of America’s vast regions isn’t complete until cannabis endears itself to the nation’s most conservative citizens and lawmakers in the southeast. 

Recent activity indicates that it may just be happening.

Commonly known as the Deep South, the region is the Bible Belt’s shiny, conservative buckle. It’s where conservative viewpoints almost always win out. There, progressive agendas like cannabis reform often face an uphill battle that rivals that of Sisyphus. 


Attorney Drafts Bill to Make Myrtle Beach a Decriminalized City for Cannabis

An attorney in Myrtle Beach wants to write a law that would decriminalize cannabis in the city of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 

Jonny McCoy is the man who served as attorney for Julian Betton, a man who was shot nine times by police during a drug raid in Myrtle Beach in 2015. Now, McCoy wants the city to decriminalize cannabis so something like this doesn’t happen again. 


State takes over SC-grown hemp tests to ensure THC levels aren’t too high

The task of testing hemp for for its primary psychoactive compound will now have to be handled by state inspectors rather than growers under a change in federal policy.

The S.C. Department of Agriculture has asked lawmakers for $1.6 million to hire staff, as well as pay for vehicles and travel, sampling equipment and laboratory costs.

The law mandates a hemp crop contain less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, to be harvested. State inspectors will take samples from each field within two weeks prior to harvest to ensure proper levels, according to agency spokeswoman Eva Moore.


USDA Approves More State Hemp Plans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this week the approval of hemp production plans for two more states and three more Indian tribes.

The states to get the green light were South Carolina and West Virginia, making them the thirteenth and fourteenth states to gain approval. The tribe plans approved this week were for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, the Seneca Nation of Indians and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.


What You Missed: The crawl to legalized medical marijuana in South Carolina continues

Give Republican state Sen. Tom Davis credit: He’s persistent. The Beaufort Republican has been working for years to try and get medical marijuana legalized in South Carolina, and now he’s indicated he’s willing to make several concessions in his proposed legislation in hopes of quelling the fears of some medical professionals and cops who have been stridently against the bill. According to Schuyler Kropf at The Post and Courier, Davis is set to cut down the number of illnesses marijuana could treat. Some of the ailments it could still be used for include neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, Crohn’s, epilepsy and cerebral palsy, in addition to chronic pain.


Cannabis Legalization in South Carolina: Where It Stands Now and Where It’s Headed

There are currently 33 states that have legal programs for medical cannabis, but fewer than half of those are traditionally red, southern states. Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Florida are southern states that have some kind of medical cannabis program, but South Carolina does not. Groups like SC Compassionate Care Alliance would like to change that and provide patient access to the plant medicine. 


No cap on 2020 hemp farming season in SC

As of February 1, hemp farming, handling and processing permits are open for the 2020 grow season

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) has been issuing these permits to farmers since their program began in 2018. 


Hemp is growing fast in South Carolina, but can the industry keep up?

"To me, it's the perfect plant."

Jason Eargle is an entrepreneur who has been advocating for hemp for years now. He's also one of the owners of the largest hemp farm in the state.

Eargle's journey in the industry started three and a half years ago when he and his business partner Robert Moore began talking about how hemp could change farming communities in South Carolina. They created one of South Carolina's first industrial hemp companies, Brackish Solutions, and have since helped raise awareness around the plant: first about the legalization of hemp, and now about the growth and many potential uses of hemp in the state.


South Carolina had a 565% increase in hemp farmers this year

Now that it’s legal to grow hemp in the Palmetto State, farmers are growing it and a major increase.

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture says last year, the state had 20 hemp growers. This year, they’ve issued 113 permits, which is a 565% increase. The number jumped after the state removed a cap on how many people could grow hemp in South Carolina and how many acres they could grow.

David Newsome of Palmetto Harmony grows hemp in Horry County says there are many uses of hemp.

“If you can make it with a tree, or plastic,” he says, “You can make it with hemp.”

He continues, “Through rope and textiles and clothing and concrete and construction material.”

“Being used in lotions and all kinds of topicals and face creams and soaps.”


South Carolina considers legalizing medical marijuana

Medical marijuana is legal in 34 other states, and lawmakers in South Carolina want to add the Palmetto State to the list.

Last week, a Senate subcommittee passed the Comprehensive Care Act, which a portion of, would legalize marijuana for medical purposes-- but not all lawmakers are on board.

"I think that's a very dangerous precedent, I don't think it's our role andIi wont be supporting the bill," said Rep. Senator Greg Hembree.

Legal medical marijuana is a heated topic among lawmakers in Columbia, but author of the bill, Senator Tom Davis (R - Beaufort), says it's all in an effort to empower doctors to help those in need.


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