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

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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.”

Continuing to list uses, he says when it’s extracted as CBD oil, it can possibly ease symptoms of illnesses “Like fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, epileptic disorders. seizure disorders, and all kinds of lupus, and autoimmune diseases, and disorders, and all kinds of chronic pain issues.”

He emphasizes, “This is not marijuana.”

Continuing, “This is the most positive side of the plans that can possibly be offered.”

A positive side that farmers in South Carolina are benefiting from.

“With the amount of farmers that are capable of farming in the large acreage coverage that we have,” Newsom says, “Plus our ability to grow year-round because weather permits us to do so.”

He says farmers growing the crop in South Carolina are already growing crops like soybeans and cotton.

He says when they add hemp to the list, they’re “finding that they can make enough money growing this crop and providing it for open market to actually help sustain them for the year.”

That could help the state and Newsom says “We can literally be the leading state in this country for hemp.”

While South Carolina could be considered late to the game compared to state’s that have had loose hemp laws for years, Newsome this is great timing.

He says now, South Carolina farmers are able to “see where other states were going wrong and see the things that were not working for farmers, and what kinds of things were holding farmers back and destroying crops.”

The Department of Agriculture says they’re working on a list of where the 113 hemp farms will be located and how many acres each farm will have.

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