DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) – According to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, officers arrested a Dorchester County man Thursday for violating the law associated with the South Carolina Hemp Farming Program. John Trenton Pendarvis, 38, faces a charge of unlawfully cultivating hemp. The arrest is a result of an investigation requested by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA). This is the first arrest of a Hemp farmer following the implementation of the program.
Officials say Pendarvis cultivated the hemp on property near Harleyville in Dorchester County. Pendarvis was booked at the Dorchester County Detention Center.
in March South Carolina Governor Henry D. McMaster signed into law the bill which expanded the number of growers who can participate in the state’s hemp program and the amount of acreage they can grow. The hemp program previously only allowed for 40 permits for up to 40 acres each to be issued in 2019. Under the new law, anyone who previously applied for a grower permit for 2019 would be eligible to grow hemp in South Carolina, so long as they successfully pass a federal and state background check and have accurately provided: full name, address, GPS Coordinates of where hemp is being grown and a signed letter of intent with a purchaser.