A proposed pilot program that would have South Carolina farmers grow small amounts of industrial hemp has hit a hurdle in the state House after rank-and-file members went against a compromise pushed by House agriculture leaders last week.
Hemp has many uses as fiber but is controversial because it is closely related to marijuana. However, it lacks the chemical composition that give a person the sensation of feeling high. The federal government only recently began allowing American farmers to grow the crop. A 2014 law technically legalized the hemp in South Carolina, but did not lay out the permitting process for farmers. Similar programs already exist in Georgia and North Carolina, among other states.
“This is something that’s going to take off for the agricultural community,” State Rep. Russell Ott, D-St. Matthews, said. “But we know if we’re going to get to that particular point, we have to make sure we have the appropriate research and the appropriate buy-in.” [Read more…]