What is it about hemp that makes people silly?
Even industrial hemp, and even state senators in a committee hearing.
The Senate Agricultural and Natural Resources committee Thursday took up a bill that would allow South Carolina farmers to grow industrial hemp, a variation that doesn’t have the potent levels of tetrahydrocannabinol of hemp plants grown for marijuana production.
The bill, S.839, passed the committee unanimously and moved on to the Senate floor, but not until the committee members had a few giggles.
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“This bill got my attention based on my prior experience with other forms of hemp,” said Sen. Greg Hembree, hesitating just enough to get a reaction from his fellow senators, “not actually inhaling it but prosecuting others that had.”
Hembree, R-Horry, is a former 15th circuit solicitor.
Later he said he heard from colleagues after he spoke in favor of the bill at a subcommittee meeting the previous week. “They said I would now be considered Sen. Snoop Dogg, but I’m not going to accept that.”
Sen. Paul Campbell, R-Berkeley, noted that the bill is really about giving farmers another cash crop option.
“This has been referred to as ‘rope not dope, jobs not joints,’” Campbell said.