A bill introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates would legalize hemp farming and production, effectively nullifying a federal prohibition.
H.B. 3011 was introduced by Rep. Mike Manypenny (D), with Reps. Walker (D), Swartzmiller (D), Canterbury (R) and Ambler (R) signed on as co-sponsors. The bill allows for farmers to apply for state permits that would allow them to cultivare industrial hemp.
The stated purpose of the bill ”is to remove the provision that requires an applicant to meet federal requirements concerning the production, distribution and sale of industrial hemp prior to being licensed to grow hemp for industrial purposes in the state.”
The proposed West Virginia law simply ignores the federal prohibition and opens the door to hemp cultivation in the state. It would allow the state to develop an intrastate market and poise it to lead the way if Washington DC ever opens up the interstate market.
HEMP OVERVIEW AND USE
Industrial hemp, is the non-THC relative of the more commonly-known “marijuana” plant. It is used for a wide variety of purposes including the manufacture of cordage of varying tensile strength, durable clothing and nutritional products. During World War II, the United States military relied heavily on hemp products, which resulted in the famous campaign and government-produced film, “Hemp for Victory!”
Even though soil, climate and agricultural capabilities could make the United States a massive producer of industrial hemp, today no hemp is grown for public sale, use and consumption within the United States. China is the world’s greatest producer and the United States is the #1 importer of hemp and hemp products in the world.
Experts count as many as 25,000 uses for industrial hemp, including food, cosmetics, plastics and biofuel. The U.S. currently imports hemp products, primarily from China and Canada.
Three states – Colorado, Oregon and Vermont – have already passed similar measures. Farmers in SE Colorado started harvesting the plant in 2013.
In West Virginia, take action today to help pass H.B. 3011. Click HERE.
Other states, take action in your state to push legislators to introduce and support bills to legalize hemp farming. Click HERE.