News Story: SC attorney general’s opinion on raw hemp leaves Upstate CBD store owners confused, fearful
Top Hat Tobacco and Cigar owner Todd Smith was on his way out of town July 13 for a rare day off when his phone rang. A friend manning the store for him was on the other end, and told him Anderson County deputies were in the shop to confiscate its smokable hemp.
Smith pleaded his case to the deputies over the phone, but ultimately, the officers left with about two pounds of hemp worth thousands of dollars.
“It was a big surprise to us,” he said. “They’re lumping it in the category with marijuana, but the South Carolina Department of Agriculture defines it as scientifically a different plant.”
According to an incident report, the deputies went to Top Hat in reference to the “illegal sale of marijuana,” and asked if the store sold hemp flower, as advertised on its front window. When Smith’s friend showed them four jars filled with smokable hemp, which the report refers to as a “green, leafy, plant-like substance,” officers confiscated them and informed the employees the product was “illegal to sell to the public.”
The report lists the incident type as the “unlawful sale of marijuana,” but no one was charged, and Smith said he was not selling marijuana.
The seizure came three days after the state Attorney General’s Office issued an opinion regarding raw hemp to the State Law Enforcement Division, sending shock waves through the state’s hemp community.
(Story continues at this link.)