HARLEYVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – A Dorchester County man has been arrested for violating law associated with the South Carolina Hemp Farming Program.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said this is the first arrest of a hemp farmer following the implementation of the program.
According to an affidavit, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture observed mature hemp plants growing on an unlicensed site located on Maple Hill Road back on July 30th.
Soon after, the farmer, 38-year-old John Pendarvis, applied for an amendment to his original application to change his growing location to the Maple Hill Road site. However, the SCDA determined his actions violated the Hemp Farming Act because prior approval of the new location was not obtained before the hemp was grown and was ultimately denied the application.
The SCDA notified the State Law Enforcement Division that Pendarvis was unlawfully violating the Hemp Farming Act and requested a criminal investigation.
Pendarvis was later arrested and booked at the Dorchester County Detention Center. He is charged with unlawfully cultivating hemp on property off Maple Hill Road near Harleyville.