South Carolina Hemp: New Software Streamlines Management of Licensing Program

Hemp farm. Photo: South Carolina Department of Agriculture

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture has administered South Carolina’s Hemp Farming Program since 2018, when the program began. Like many other states, South Carolina is updating its hemp program requirements to comply with Federal legislation impacting hemp production.

Kelly Registration Systems (KRS), a leading provider of essential information and automation solutions to the agribusiness and pesticide industry, recently announced it has extended its existing contract with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) to build the software system that will manage and automate the state’s hemp licensing program. The system will manage permits for Hemp Farmers, Hemp Handlers and Hemp Processors.

“This system allows a clean and streamlined process making it easier for state administrators, as well as hemp farmers and handlers,” said Josey Cameron, project manager, Kelly Registration Systems.

There are currently 114 licensed hemp farmers in South Carolina, up from 20 the previous year, and more than 40 licensed hemp processors. As the Hemp Farming Program has grown, so has the department’s need for a streamlined management tool.

“As South Carolina’s hemp industry continues to develop and expand, KRS’ technology will help us better serve farmers, processors and others,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers.

KRS’ custom online system will automate the licensing of South Carolina’s hemp farmers. Key elements of the system include: password protected accounts for state administrators and users, an online application and renewal process with online payment capabilities. There will be numerous reporting functions available for state program administrators.

The use of QR codes will allow online lookup of farmers, farms, and/or product information associated with license holders.

Additional regulatory and enforcement parties will benefit from features of the new system.

Lab staff may upload background results and notify state administrators via email, thus potentially shortening the communication and licensing cycle.

Map display functionality by county, including GPS functionality and color-coded locations may be accessed by law enforcement.

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“We are excited to partner with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture to provide an online platform to manage this growing industry. Our goal is to provide a user-friendly platform for effective management by SCDA while also allowing a simple online solution for hemp farmers, handlers, and processors to apply for and renew their hemp license,” said Cameron.

KRS will be printing and mailing out hemp ID cards that include the license holder’s picture as well as a QR Code, which will provide additional information specific to the license holder.

“We understand the importance of transparency. The use of QR coding and GPS mapping through this system will provide both the SCDA and law enforcement with valuable information related to hemp farming, handling, and processing in the state,” said Cameron.

According to SCDA, applications for the 2020 growing season will open on Feb. 1, 2020.

Since 2006, SCDA has worked with KRS, utilizing its KSAMS software, a SaaS that enables the department to manage licenses, permits and registrations, including Frozen Dessert, Seed dealers, Feed products, Scale and Pump repairmen, Feed Stop orders, Fruit and Vegetable inspection invoices, and rental of the Conference Center facilities. KRS also manages the department’s online subscriptions to the South Carolina Market Bulletin.




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