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Horry County Might Welcome a New Hemp Processing Facility in Socastee

Horry County Might Welcome a New Hemp Processing Facility in Socastee

The hemp industry has grown multifold over the past one year after the federal government legalized hemp production under the Farm Act. It has been taking off across the country, especially in South Carolina. 

Reports show that the global industrial hemp market is forecasted to grow from $4.6 billion in 2019 to a whopping $32 billion by 2022. Hemp can be used for a wide range of industrial and commercial products, from textiles to rope to a popular item many people are turning to, CBD oil. 

CBD has become a trending ingredient and is touted for its health benefits that range from anxiety to pain relief to sleep aid. After the legalization, hemp has become a rich agricultural crop that many farmers are growing. It has given a substantial boom to the agricultural industry creating more jobs and money for the state. 

Now, with the rapidly growing industry of hemp and its derived products, many people are entering into the CBD business. The Pure Assets LLC, owners listed for the property at 3835 Socastee Blvd., plan to turn the vacant building in Horry County into a proper hemp processing facility. 

To do so, they have made a request to change their zoning to limited manufacturing and industrial districts (MA1). The Horry County Council has already passed the first two readings unanimously. So, if this project is finalized, here is what local residents can expect from the hemp processing facility. 

The facility will resonate to a laboratory, where CBD oil will be extracted from thousands of pounds of hemp plants. Then, this CBD oil will be shipped to a distributor and sold to retailers, who can take the product further at a relatively lower price. 

Cam Crawford, the Horry County Councilman who represents District 6 said that they can understand the economics of this and how it might lower the prices of CBD oil in the local area. Also, since the facility will be in the proximity of other retailers, it may have a positive impact on the cost, which will give a positive outlook on the economy in that area. 

Crawford further said that he is excited for the facility to be established and functional in the area as it would not just generate an avenue for new revenue with minimal efforts on the infrastructure, but the impact of this facility will be more than what’s just inside the warehouse. 

Crawford said that while it may not create a substantial amount of jobs, but it’s a good use of the space. And the process they are going to follow seems to be pretty simple – they would produce CBD oil, sell it to the distributor, who is then going to sell it to different retailers. Some of the retail shops aren’t even doing much business in that specific area and with the CBD products, it might as well be a good indication for them!

The final vote and reading on the proposal will take place at the Horry County Council meeting in January. Also, there’s no official word yet on when the facility will be and running if the proposal is accepted. 

Legalization of Hemp 

Hemp was removed from the list of Controlled Substances in December 2018, which paved the way for hemp and its derived products in the consumer market. 

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Since then, the U.S. seems to be brimming with CBD, a psychoactive chemical found in hemp. CBD is widely popular for its alleged medicinal benefits such as relieving stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, muscle pain, spasms, inflammation, and many others. It is also known to alleviate the symptoms of severe diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, Tourette and Alzheimer’s. 

Research suggests that CBD may be a potent drug effective in reducing the severity of some diseases such as epilepsy. The only approved CBD based drug from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is Epidiolex, an oral solution used to reduce seizures in two rare and severe forms of epilepsy- Dravet syndrome and Lennox Gastaut syndrome. 

Other than this, the FDA hasn’t approved any CBD based product as it has concerns about the long term effects of CBD and how it interacts with other drugs. Despite this, many companies are selling and promoting their CBD products.

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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