Sellers approved for hemp farming; state allows new growers in Bamberg, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties
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Sellers approved for hemp farming; state allows new growers in Bamberg, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties

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Former state lawmaker Bakari Sellers is among the additional 74 farmers approved for the S.C. Hemp Farming Program by the S.C. Department of Agriculture.

Sellers, a CNN commentator, told the Post and Courier he’s helping out black farmers on 40 acres Hampton County. He told the newspaper the investment ranges to a half-million dollars to help one of the state’s poorest regions.

A new law expands the number of farmers who can participate in the state’s hemp program and the amount of acreage they can grow.

This law allowed prior 2019 applicants who were not originally selected to reapply in time for the 2019 growing season. After reapplying, successfully passing state and federal background checks, and attending a mandatory orientation, 74 applicants were issued 2019 growing licenses.

“More hemp farmers means more opportunities to learn about hemp’s long-term potential for South Carolina agriculture,” state Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers said. “Agribusiness is South Carolina’s largest industry and we welcome the chance to push it in new directions.”

Combined with the original 40 growers who were issued permits in October 2018, there are now 114 permitted hemp farmers across 34 counties.

Permitted local growers for the 2019 season are:

• Eric L. Berry, Orangeburg County

• Albert Bueno, Orangeburg County

• William Bull, Orangeburg County

• John Fogle, Orangeburg County

• George Jameson, Orangeburg County

• Felicia Jamison, Orangeburg County

• Joshua H. Johnson, Calhoun County

• James T. Mosely, Calhoun County

• Randle Palmer Quimby, Bamberg County

• Jim Roquemore, Orangeburg County

• Octavia Simkins-Wiseman, Orangeburg County

• James Ulmer III, Orangeburg County

• Richard Varnadoe, Bamberg County

• Craig Walker, Orangeburg County


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