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2019 Industrial Hemp Pilot Program Growers Selected

South Carolina Department of Agriculture
Hugh E. Weathers, Commissioner

Media Contacts: Clint Leach; 803-734-2210;
Vanessa Elsalah,, 803-734-8339

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 26, 2018

2019 Industrial Hemp Pilot Program Growers Selected
40 growers to participate in 2nd statewide growing season

COLUMBIA – The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) has selected 40 farmers to participate in the 2019 SC Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. The famers represent 24 counties throughout the state. 19 of the 20 Permitted Growers from 2018 are included in the selection.

Permit Recipient


William Dupree Atkinson Marion
Steven Neal Baxley, Jr. Marion
Nathan James Bradford Sumter
Albert Stewart Bueno Orangeburg
David F. Bulick Charleston
Patrick Edward Burch Florence
Jack Canty York
Michelle Diane Davis Berkeley
Kevin R. Dean Charleston and Williamsburg
Vanessa English Richland
Mark P. Ezekiel Aiken
Felicia Roshell Jamison Calhoun and Orangeburg
John Andrew Fogle Orangeburg
Danny Lee Ford Anderson
Thomas E. Garrison III Anderson
Norman Daniel Gibson Greenwood
Dianne Hill Harrell Florence
Deborah Justice Oconee
Kimberly Ann Kitchens Charleston
Michelle White Lein Anderson
Harry Bancroft Limehouse III Aiken
Robert Douglas Mason Marion
Matthew O’Brien Fairfield
Gerard Pick Pickens
Randle Palmer Quimby Bamberg
Shawn Ransford Charleston
Janel Dena Ralph Horry and Marion
Jaqueline Rhinehart Saluda
John Townsend Rivers Sumter
Walter Lamar Scott Charleston
Melinda F. Shambley Colleton
Don Carlos Sharp Allendale
Robbie Lanier Springs Williamsburg
Michael Todd Stamps Richland
Michael J. Tucker Lexington, Newberry
James Ulmer Orangeburg
Richard Alan Varnadoe Bamberg
Joseph Henry Watson Saluda
Joe Edward Wilkes Fairfield
Robert P. Wilkins, Jr. Florence


“I’m excited about the increased interest in growing industrial hemp, and look forward to working with each of the 40 growers this upcoming year to continually build upon our state’s agriculture industry,” said Hugh Weathers, South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture.

The 40 permit recipients were chosen from 162 applications. Selection was based on several key factors, including:

  • Completed application
  • Agriculture experience
  • Geographic balance across South Carolina
  • Accredited college/university partner
  • Purpose of the crop, end use
  • Processor experience and location
  • Ability to secure needed equipment and financing

Seven accredited universities will work with the pilot program participants: University of South Carolina, Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina State University, Clemson University, USC Beaufort, Furman University and College of Charleston.

“A high priority is nurturing the current growers and the investments they made, risks they took for this inaugural growing season.  And as we continue developing this industry, we work towards a goal of expanding opportunities for farmers, so South Carolina can truly compete on a national and international level,” said Weathers.

For more information about the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, please contact Vanessa Elsalah, 803-734-8339, or visit


2019 Industrial Hemp Pilot Program Growers Selected Press Release (PDF)

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