HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The hemp industry seems to be taking off across the nation, especially here in South Carolina.
Reports show the global industrial hemp market is projected to grow from $4.6 billion in 2019 to $32 billion by 2022. Hemp can be used for a variety of commercial and industrial products, from rope and textiles to a popular item people are turning to, CBD oil.
CBD has become a trendy ingredient, touted for a variety of health benefits ranging from pain and anxiety relief to a sleep aid. This agricultural boom is creating more jobs and money for the state.
Now, Pure Assets LLC, the owners listed for property at 3835 Socastee Blvd., want to turn this vacant building in Horry County into a hemp processing facility. In order to do so, a rezoning request has been submitted to change its zoning to limited manufacturing and industrial district (MA1).
The Horry County Council already unanimously passed the first two readings. So, if this project becomes final, here’s what residents can expect to see with a hemp processing facility. It would be similar to a laboratory, where CBD oil will be extracted from hundreds of pounds of hemp plants. Then, the oil will be shipped to a distributor and sold to retailers, who can also make the final product less expensive locally.
“I can understand the economics of that, how that might lower or positively impact prices in the general area. I could see that just because of the proximity it is to the other retailers. Also, that area in Socastee, we’re always looking for positive economic activity in that area,” said Horry County Councilman Cam Crawford, who represents District 6.
Crawford said he’s excited for the facility to come to the area, noting it not only could generate new revenue with minimal effects on infrastructure, but the impact this facility is expected to bring to the area is more than what’s just inside the warehouse.
“Well, I do think it would provide some jobs, but I think it’s a good use of the space. And again, what they’re going to do is they’re just going to sell to a distributor, who is then going to sell to a retailer. Some of the retail shops, there’s not any retail activity out of that location,” said Crawford.
The final reading and vote on the proposal will take place at the first Horry County Council meeting in January, and Crawford believes it will pass with a breeze. There is no word yet on a timeline for the facility to be up and running.