South Carolina Bill H.4340 First Hearing Recap
(H.4340 Hemp Session #1 Begins)
Williams — Research. Visible detection. .3 thc
Janel. farmers must provide GPS. Persons who wants to grow cannabis. products from seed. last thing
you want is hemp field growing next to illegal crop.
Riley — Difference in genus. hemp, marijuana/rec.
Robert williams. if thc wasn’t part of the conversation we wouldn’t have
this convo. help me to understand byproducts of hemp. oil, hempseed oil, food,
hemp plastics, bmw door panel, I saw something that looks like marijuana (laugh)
Speaker: on global market, 25–50k potential products. hempcrete 1000 years standing.
Crosby — we have one of the best le programs.
Burns — do we know the economic impact study? in other states, fees are in place. $
501c hemp alliance
first of 8–9 states to get program
were behind but we can catch up
port for hemp farmers. Accessibility.
eu company has 15mil ready
au seed bank wants to work in sc
Hodges; do people want to manufacture harvest equipment. using combine
with slight alterations. case, john deere. bast fibre llc harvesting
equipment. Current equipment retrofitted.
Ott. Crops in SC. Crops sold in SC, sell to buyer. Model in place? KY
has rules for record keeping. established end-buyer in KY. Is it expensive?
No. very little input fertilizer and fungicide and lower water. Every
farmer needs avenue, or not worth it. Corn, testing alfatoxin. You probably don’t
know much about it. Okay. Safeguard. Testing prior to sell. Would we have buyers?
Set up market. We are blessed in SC to grow everything, with port. Need a solid end
result. Market must be there. #1 importer.
Lucas- There’s plenty of interest. Commitments. Purchases.
Rep. Crosby. — I wouldn’t take to market without adequate testing. Is that being done in
other states? Yes sir.
Southard — I represent Marion CO. Hemp has creating anticipation since tobacco has been
Lucas — Working since 2014, after bill passage.
Riley — Colonial times. Hemp was common. Long-term history. Britain
conquered most of the world. Navy. Hemp sails/riggings. Jamestown.
All colonies were required to grow hemp. Reliance on the crown.
Jefferson and Washington were both advocates. Currency in the VA colony.
Dupont. Monopoly. Do away with industrial hemp, in favour of Nylon/synthetic
material. Hemp was competing raw material.
Lucas — Growth period. Fiber 90days. Oil 100+. EcoFiber with letter of intent.
Australia. Largest registered seedbank with varieties lower than .3%. Research in latitude.
We can’t take seed from Ca to SC, because of sun hours. 90–130days. 2 fiber crops a year.
You can grow one behind the other. 14 years. hemp , wheat , canola, barley rotation. Pulls
toxins from soil. Returns organic material to soil.
Patsy Knight: How much hemp is being imported? SC data.
Concern: Impact on revenue from concrete companies?
Lucas — Localized economy. Keep SC money here.
Southard — Why are SC senators/congressman not signed on to Farm bill?
Lucas — Differentiate a marijuana/hemp
Hodges — Hemp got lumped with marijuana in the 30s. All Classified in the 70s.
Wes — Wood pellets for fuel. Less coal. Green energy. Import wood pellets from East
Coast. Bio-energy. Take forest for wood pellets.
120 million at stake. hemp=jobs. farmers back to work. flood=detriment. soybeans ruined.
We have more committed acres. We need the bill to pass. We don’t want to take to
NC/other. Buyers are watching.
Crosby. Foxtail grass. Can we protect environment with hemp? Wes-Yes.
Ott — How’s it measured? How many tons can be produced?
Wes — metric ton.1.2 million per year. 30t per harvest.
Wood pellets korea/china. 25k acres planted in SC.
Your sources? Australia, us, Canada, south america.
Riley — What’s the per ton value? Wes — Peak seasons. Summer.
Tonnage from field: 25,40 dollars per ton.
Acre of hemp. Triple output over pine. No lag.
Duckworth — Can you describe the production method?
Wes — Processed similarly. Hammermill. Pelletizers. Modifications to be made.
Energy source: electricity, natural gas.
Williams — Switchgrass. Ash content. Wes — Hemp over switchgrass. Outperforms.
What size pellet for burning? Size of a pen, for wood burning fireplaces.
PeeDea Area. Shipment? Docking? Georgetown. We don’t have the capability…
Wes- We’ve looked at the location. Barge it from location to Charleston. Ships
draft. Our product doesn’t max the ship out. #s are conservative.
Ott — Cost per acre?
Wes — Production-wise. 30–50lbs seed per acre. ~$50–200 for seed end-product.
Return? We need plants here to verify.
Hodges — 200-$500 per acre. Evidenced bed Wes.
Wes — Well, that’s attractive.
Lab is in Anderson, near Clemson. Meant to be there. Functioning. 80g
of product to test. 80$. Full test mold/yeast = $200.
Gagnon — Is there a field hemp test? 399 bucks.
You know by terpene when you want to take the plant down. 3rd party test
sufficient for market.
Testing device and strips all that need be purchased post.
What’s your facility testing? Hemp.
Merryl Lynch. Invest in testing facility. Since only a few truly legal states.
Riley — Testing afield. 10/20 acres. # of plants? No clue. Industrial deals with thousands
Our gov’t grows cannabis in MS. 13% THC. You won’t find that on store shelves in CO.
Clint Leach — Dept of Ag. We’ve studied for 2 years.
We have concerns. Puts Dept AG of led agency. # of states of with pilot program
under dept of ag. Difference? Dept Of plant industry has infrastructure.
doesn’t reside in our agency. Consider amendment. We have concerns. We ask for
state AG to look in the matter. AG issued opinion. “yes, program is available
for DoA, and higher learner citizens. Doesn’t allow private citizens.”
Secondly, directs agency to 1) seize 2) capture date 3) test product. Goes well
beyond what we’re able to do as agency.
Bottom line. We ask research program to be looked at further. Better avenue for
delayering program. Registry program is in violation of federal law…?
Third: Agencies have many questions. Structure, personell, to be carried out.
Respectfully ask, GE conduct fiscal impact statement. What will be required of them etc.
Horne — Hi. You have AGs opinion? Date pls.
Leach — Dec 2014 opinion.
Congress revised Hemp Act of 2014.
Allows states opportunity to grow hemp for the purpose of R&D. This was the
intent. This is the scope. States can implenet programs. R&D. Must be first phase.
You don’t feel the DoA is best equipped? Have you futhered discussions that are
leaning toward taking the role? Advancement of hemp.
Leach — We’ve had conversations. College perspective. Thinks Clemson/etc qualified.
What uni most qualified? Clemson is most apt to task. Not only univ.
Crosby — Dept of AG and agencies dont seem like they want a part of the bill.
Williams — I’m wondering. Let’s be clear. DofA stance? What’s the primary reason
DOA isn’t willing to converse to other entities?
Leach — I think…….. We haven’t been the agency to research. statutory mission
is marketing once markets are established. We’re in that business. Research is outside
expertise. Waiting for legality. Outstanding federal issues.
Williams — Federal govt has opened up research.
Leach — We don’t think we’re the org to conduct research.
Williams — Would you be willing to come to the table once Clemson is designated?
Leach — Registry program. We have concerns being tied to registering. We’d be willing
to sit down and discuss.
Williams — Have you sat down with Horne? AG? 2014. Dec 23rd.
Horne — Mr. Leach. Directed to Weathers. Davis bill. Has been passed. Any attempt
by weathers for updated AG opinion? in the current state of federal law. What’s the real
objection? Illegal bill? We must pass illegal bills all the time, making them law. McConnell
has made changes to federal law. Where’s our bill deficient? Dec 2014 isn’t current. AG are just
opinion. No force/effect of law although. I’d be happy to work with commissioner of AG. State supersedes
federal law. I’d like to meet with you at your leisure.
Corley — I’ve wondered about ingenuity and why we aren’t taking adv of hemp
industry. Don’t understand registry. Need to clarify.
Leach — Peanuts, soybeans don’t have lineage to schedule 1 drug.
Corley — Stay in our lane. Ag lane. I see it as a good business op. Why aren’t
we progressive in that aspect? Because we haven’t done, we shouldn’t do it? Startling frankly.
Hiott — There’s other univ that could be responsible. Testimony. Who is accountable
if product is iffy. What’s in place to investigate?
Leach — To my knowledge no.
Keel — No regulatory authority.
Hiott — We think you’d be the dept.
Keel — No sir. Not responsible.
Hodges — Finished product. Seed, cosmetics. They’re overseen by federal oversight.
Dilemma with agencies. Partly correct, still federal illegal, but bill is now law.
Research. Correct the wrong. Dot I’s. Allow SC to be in position to be first in line
with our resources.
Hardee — Be prepared Mr Leach to answer.
Southard — Is he licensed? (Hemp tester). Bill states, allows individuals to permitted.
It’s more than laboratory. More than just research. Is there a limit on size of acreage?
Hodges — Define who/how.
Horne — You cant research something you can’t grow. Growing part of research.
People don’t want to do things we legislate. Buy-in. We need convo with sled and
DoA. I’ve talked under my own volition. We import final product, not raw. We must
grow to truly research.
Hodges — awkward position to buy-in with shaky designation.
Williams — In PeeDee we have Clemson centre, 25k sq ft facility. Tests switchgrass
and all sort of product, trees for bioenergy. I don’t see how its so far fetched to create
the pilot program. Need to work with SLED, other agencies. We talk agrobusiness
but we need to diversify product. Out of work since tobacco. We have to find other means
for farmers in rural areas. Shouldn’t be passing the buck. Tighten up. A lot of end-products.
DofA needs on board. We need this program. More dialog with Clemson and other agencies. DHEC.
Quit kicking the can on this, a plant with so many byproducts. Helps with ailments.
We’re using the product but we aren’t planting it. Where’s the sense in that? That’s where
I’m at. That’s my take on it. I hope subcommittee looks at this intently.
Robert Moore — McConnels bill. Graham signed Carers Act. SC politicians are on-board.
Mark Sanford has signed on 525. Jefferson built a mill. Grew hemp. Loved hemp.
Introducing a new crop is a great service to your country. Not much alteration to
Coal-fire plant, using hemp wood pellet. It’s grown and used everywhere but here. Geomatting
hemp being the best. Construction on roadways/interstate. Using coconut fiber. Product
10 miles away. Russia eradiation policy, planting hemp for cannabis control. Feed corn
and sweet corn example. corrupts crop. NC is a bit behind. Best interest in citizens
to promote industry, expand employment, opportunity to farmers and sustainable use of cropland.
SC needs to get in front of us. Jobs, manufacturing, facilities. Pellet mill coming in
Lake City. Foot-dragging. Needs more entrepreneurship. SLED/DofA need to be on-board.
Southard — 12 states? Who would invest in 2 year program?
Robert — We have investors ready to go.
Hodges — We haven’t defined program. That’s where we’re going.
Duckworth — Using coal-fire plants for biomass. Retrofit. Temp to burn, ash content
Robert — Burn cleaner. Minor changes. Hemp where coal was used. EU contract
10–20k acres for a plant. Using wood biomass. Use less forests, use hemp.
Williams — Question: Data on hemp for coal-fire.
Robert — We don’t need anymore research. Indiana. We can’t do it here. EU/Asia market is huge.
AU companies are looking to come to Florence.
Williams — Many companies are looking at SC. But they tend to consume.
Hodges — Thanks for sharing today. Civil, informative. I’m convinced we have
some of the best minds in the state. I’m certain we can come together and work the
details to make the bill that was past in 2014, a reality. Senate Bill 839
was passed in Senate 42–0. In House, only 20 passed. Signed by Gov. Next Phases.
Make this reality. We need the best minds in this state to come together. Concerns
SLED may have. They can alleviate the concerns through thinking. Clemson and other
univ are looking to be at the forefront of this. Take a chance. A risk. All members
are interested in the best interest of the citizens? Take this step. Hemp is grown
for 12000 years. Hemp is illegal but we can get around it. Research first. We
can come up with a model. I’m looking at other states. Penn State. Anyone else to share?
Advocate for progressing state. I was chair of committee. House floor. We had to defend it.
We ask all the questions.
Williams — The discussion has been really good for me. This is something we can do.
Benefit of people. Specifically, for my constituents of district. Impact their lives.
Agrobuiness standpoint. Just listening to the byproduct. I don’t see why we’re making
a big deal over this. Move the ball forward.
Craig Gagnon — Agencies. Enthusiasm. Complications with SLED. However, cost would be
‘astronomical’. Field testing would be easier. Close to lab standards. DofA doesn’t
want to handle a hot potato. Dept has wide range of tasks. Gasoline/ethanol. Bad fuel
DofA looks at it. There’s no lack of ability. Look outside existing crops. Innovative
and progressive. A little more discussion. Great start. Horne and King have brought
food for thought. We passed CBD bill. We have to get this rolling. We need to put
something in behind it. We need to explore further. I’m not opposed.
Crosby — Modify bill? Calls vote to adjourn the debate. 4 ayes, Williams No.
(H.4340 Hemp Session #1 Concludes)