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The South Carolina Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for hemp farming permits for the 2021 growing season through Feb. 28. The state’s Hemp Farming Program has grown from 20 farmers in 2018 to 265 farmers in 2020, the SCDA said. Farmers must apply through SCDA’s online portal at agriculture.sc.gov/hemp.

The City of Savannah has canceled its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade for the second consecutive year because of coronavirus concerns. The event, which draws thousands of revelers, was first held in 1824. St. Patrick’s Day is March 17.

Bill HerbkersmanI'm the sponsor of the medical marijuana bill in the S.C. Statehouse in this new legislative session.

My support for medical marijuana came long before my brother Tom died of cancer. Tom had squamous cell carcinoma and I vividly watched as the cancer literally consumed a healthy, happy 45-year-old.

Medical marijuana was one of the treatments Tom utilized toward the end of his life and I saw two important and irrefutable ways in which it helped him. He was in tremendous pain and couldn't eat or hold food down.

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION FIRM WINS FIVE STAR BUILDER AWARDS 

Dewitt Tilton Group won three Master Builder Awards, one Top 10 Award, and a 2019 Outstanding Builder Award from Star Building Systems of Oklahoma City for 2019 projects. Dewitt Tilton Group was one of two builders to receive Master Builder recognition for two separate projects. Star partners with local builders, providing metal building systems and products, estimating software, cutting-edge design tools and training. 

Sea Pines Country Club has approved a two-phase enhancement plan for its Arnold Palmer, Clyde Johnston golf course, according to a news release.

Work on Phase I, comprising the practice facility, short-game area and re-grassing, will start May 1, 2021 and is scheduled for completion by Oct. 31, 2021.

Stan StolarcykStan Stolarcyk, director of volunteers at Volunteers in Medicine Hilton Head Island, died after battling COVID-19, the nonprofit clinic said. Stolarcyk served at VIM for 13 years and was praised for his kindness and professionalism, according to a message from VIM director, Dr. Raymond Cox. 

A report from the nonprofit think tank Reason Foundation finds that South Carolina has the highest overall fatality rate in the United States. The report also ranks South Carolina 47th in rural fatality rates. 

Applications are available online for the 2021 Heritage Classic Foundation Scholar Awards for all high school seniors in Beaufort and Jasper counties. Each scholar will have an opportunity to receive a four-year grant totaling up to $16,000 or $20,000.