In the latest blow dealt to the burgeoning smokable hemp flower market in the Southeast United States, South Carolina law enforcement officials are requiring retailers across the state to pull raw, unprocessed hemp products from their store shelves.
The action comes after an opinion handed down from the State Attorney General’s office on July 10 interpreted language in the South Carolina Farming Act of 2019 as saying that smokable hemp falls under the definition of raw, unprocessed hemp.
The opinion, according to Greenville TV station WYFF, states that “the statute makes it clear that the mere possession of raw, unprocessed hemp or hemp not in a finished product without a license is unlawful.”
The move is causing uncertainty for hemp businesses across South Carolina as smokable hemp has become one of the most popular and lucrative hemp products.
Law enforcement officials in other states, including neighboring North Carolina, have pushed for bans on smokable hemp flower, claiming the product is too hard to distinguish from marijuana and hinders drug arrests where recreational MJ remains illegal.