By Anthony Martinelli

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has signed into law legislation that establishes an industrial hemp program.

House Bill 3559 was signed into law last week by Governor McMaster after receiving overwhelming support in the state’s legislature; it was passed by the House of Representatives unanimously with a vote of 105 to 0, and was approved by the Senate with just 1 “No” vote.

The new law creates an industrial hemp program, and clarifies definitions “to distinguish industrial hemp from marijuana”. The bill “allows land grant universities or research universities in the state to conduct research, contingent upon funding”, and states that; “Universities may conduct pilot programs to cultivate hemp as an agricultural commodity, and work with growers in South Carolina”.

Once engaged in research, “universities must work in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture to identify applications, applicants, and new market opportunities for industrial hemp growers.”

The bill also “provides guidelines for growers and states that industrial hemp products intended for human consumption (i.e., ingested or topically applied) must be tested by an independent testing laboratory.”

Click here for the full text of House Bill 3559.

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