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South Carolina’s Department of Agriculture is looking for farmers to participate in the state’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program.

The SCDA will award as many as 40 farmers with permits to grow up to 40 acres of industrial hemp.

“Expanding the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program will give us a greater opportunity to assess where and how this crop grows best in South Carolina,” said Hugh Weathers, SC Commissioner of Agriculture in a news release. “Ultimately, industrial hemp is about crop diversity and new business for our rural farmers.”

To qualify for a permit, applicants must: be a South Carolina resident; pass a state and federal background check administered by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division; have a signed contract with an industrial hemp manufacturer/processor; and submit GPS coordinates for the land where industrial hemp will be grown.The agency said applications for the 2019 program are available on the SCDA website.

Applications for the 2019 program must be submitted online or postmarked by June 29.

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