US (DC): Former Denver Nuggets star to start growing hemp

Alex English’s basketball skills made him a legend in the Palmetto State and the nation.

His No. 22 jersey was retired by the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. He went on to become the NBA’s most prolific scorer In the 1980s — better than Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — and was inducted into its Hall of Fame.

Today English, 65, has a new passion — getting in on the ground floor of South Carolina’s budding cannabis industry. “I want to sell a natural organic product that helps people,” he said, sitting in the den of his well-appointed home in Blythewood.

English is a partner in a new company called GreenSmart Botanicals, along with former U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles and long-time Sumter County farmer Edward Forte. They are just one of a growing number of entrepreneurs positioning themselves to cash in on the cannabis industry in South Carolina.

South Carolina has just begun allowing farmers to grow hemp, the cannabis cousin to marijuana that is used in a variety of products from biofuels to textiles.


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