South Carolina’s hemp farming plan has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The state plan (.pdf) includes several changes for 2020, the third year of the S.C.’s hemp farming program, including new lab testing methods and stricter compliance with the 0.3% THC threshold that separates hemp from marijuana. The plan also establishes new reporting and sampling requirements and mandates testing of every stat crop before harvest, according to a news release from the S.C. Department of Agriculture.
The state agriculture department requested changes to newly established federal regulations in January. Concerns expressed included a 15-day testing period, which state officials said was too narrow.
The approved plan says samples will be collected for testing within 15 days of anticipated harvest.
Around 350 people applied to farm hemp in the state in 2020. The state agriculture department said it is reviewing the applications and will begin contacting applicants soon.
Farmer orientations will be held and participation agreements executed remotely, with permits released by May 1, according to the release.
The state farming permit application has ended, but permits for hemp handlers and processors are being accepted throughout the year. Processors permitted in 2019 must reapply before May 1.
More information about the hemp farming program is available online.