House Bill 699, introduced by Delegate Brenda Pogge (R-Norge), would end the state’s prohibition on industrial hemp farming, while mandating that the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services “adopt regulations as necessary to license persons to grow and process industrial hemp for any purpose.”
In Virginia, thanks to a law passed last year, cultivating hemp for research purposes is legal; HB 699 would expand this to allow cultivating hemp for commercial and personal purposes.
“No person licensed pursuant to § 3.2-4115 or 3.2-4117 shall be prosecuted under § 18.2-247, 18.2-248, 18.2-248.01, 18.2-248.1, 18.2-250, or18.2-250.1 for the possession, cultivation or manufacture of industrial hemp plant material and seeds or industrial hemp products”, states the bill.
“This will make Virginia one of the leaders in being ‘Open for Hemp Business’ very soon”, says Jason Amatucci, founder of the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition. “It will take 3-5 years to get the hemp industry really up and going and this is yet another great step.”