Law enforcement mowed down 10 acres of hemp near Harleyville on Thursday and arrested John Pendarvis — the first farmer in the state to be charged with growing the crop on unlicensed land.

Because of a mapping error, Pendarvis is accused of violating the 2019 Hemp Farming Act.

That law doesn’t specify any punishment for breaking the S.C. Department of Agriculture’s strict licensing rules.

Attorneys familiar with the case and law enforcement couldn’t explain what fines or jail time he may face.

And Pendarvis himself is confused by the entire ordeal.  John Pendarvis was arrested Thursday on charges of unlawful cultivation of hemp. He had to pay $3,000 to be bonded out of the Dorchester County Detention Center. Provided

“I think they were showing their authority, and they wanted to make an example out of me,” Pendarvis told The Post and Courier on Friday. “It’s a technicality.”