South Carolina’s Senate this week unanimously approved Senate Bill 839, a proposal to legalize hemp. The measure has already been approved by the state’s House of Representatives, meaning it will now go to Governor Nikki Haley for consideration.
If signed into law by Governor Haley, or allowed to become law without her signature, the proposal would make it “lawful for an individual to cultivate, produce, or otherwise grow industrial hemp in this State to be used for any lawful purpose, including, but not limited to, the manufacture of industrial hemp products, and scientific, agricultural, or other research related to other lawful applications for industrial hemp.”
According to congressional research released last year, the United States imports roughly half a billion dollars in hemp from other countries while retaining the illegality of its cultivation among its own farmers. The same research estimates the hemp market to consist of over 25,000 various products.