SC Hemp Farmer Arrested, Crop Destroyed.

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by Dan Larkin.

A South Carolina hemp farmer has been arrested and his hemp crop destroyed. The reason why will blow your mind.

On September 19th, John Pendarvis’ hemp farm was mowed down outside of Harleyville, SC and he was arrested. Ten acres of prime hemp with a potential retail value of $12 million gone in minutes.

Why arrest a hemp farmer?

Why would local law enforcement do this? Well, you might be guessing that his crop tested “hot”. That’s when field tests and subsequent lab tests find the level of THC in the plants is higher than the federally legal limit of .30%.

But guess what? It wasn’t that. It was due to a mapping error. You see, John made a mistake when he went to plant his hemp and ended up planting it in a spot that he hadn’t licensed for growing it. The only licensed area was in his other field.

When he realized the error he notified the SC Department of Agriculture. He filed for an amendment but the government wasn’t having any of that. They denied his request and on August 28th they came to the field and took samples to confirm it was hemp.

Then, last Thursday, according to hemp farmer Pendarvis, a dozen squad cars from the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office showed up to arrest him. You know, because you need a lot of law enforcement to arrest a farmer in South Carolina, right? (sarcasm)

“I think they were showing their authority, and they wanted to make an example out of me. It’s a technicality.”

John Pendarvis-SC hemp farmer. Source: The Post and Courier

He was cited with “unlawful cultivation of hemp — 1st offense,” according to an affidavit and was forced to pay $3,000 in bail Friday to get sprung from jail. But it was too late for his crop. It was already turned to mulch.

Get this. South Carolina doesn’t even have a punishment on the books for this “crime”. So what will happen next is going to be up to the courts in South Carolina to decide.


So what have we learned from this? First, that South Carolina’s Dept. of Ag. is really, really taking their responsibilities seriously. (Possibly too seriously.) Second, we’ve learned that hemp farming requires strict adherence to local and federal laws. This is especially true if you’re a SC hemp farmer. And third, we’ve learned that there is still a real need for education about what hemp is, and what it isn’t.

Read more CannabisIRL stories about hemp here.

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