US (SC): Dorchester hemp grower files lawsuit following arrest and destruction of hemp crop

A Dorchester County hemp farmer is suing the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the county sheriff's office, and the S.C. Commissioner of Agriculture.

John Pendarvis is a licensed hemp farmer in Dorchester County who, on Sept. 19, 2019, became the first farmer in the state arrested for growing hemp. 

The incident involved a discrepancy with the S.C. Department of Agriculture over one of his two hemp fields. The discrepancy resulted in Pendarvis' arrest and the destruction of 10 acres of hemp crop by law enforcement. At the time of the crop's destruction, Pendarvis estimated to The Post and Courier that up to $12 million worth of hemp had been destroyed. 

Pendarvis and his legal team filed a lawsuit on Aug. 23, according to a legal complaint. He is seeking a jury trial and damages for things like mental pain and suffering, embarrassment, injury to reputation, damage to his property, and the loss of value of his hemp crop and of future farming opportunities, according to court documents. 

Pendarvis and his attorney, Brad Hutto, did not return numerous calls for comment on the lawsuit. 


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