RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) -- The Manufacturing of Industrial Hemp for commercial purposes was approved according to Virginia's Legislation Information System.
Governor Terry McAuliffe signed the bill after it passed the General Assembly 138 - 0.
This bill will allow farmers to legally manufacture industrial hemp products. The law will go into effect July 1, 2016 according to the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition (VIHC).
House Bill 699 and Senate Bill 691 allows "a person with a license to manufacture industrial hemp products or engage in scientific, agricultural, or other research" involving the uses of industrial hemp.
Virginia will now join several other states that allow cultivation, production, and/or manufacturing of hemp products.
The new bill redefines industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity and allows licensed growers to cultivate the plant:
"Production of industrial hemp. Clarifies that it is lawful for a person with a license to manufacture industrial hemp products or engage in scientific, agricultural, or other research involving the applications of industrial hemp and that no person shall be prosecuted for the possession, cultivation, or manufacture of industrial hemp plant material or products. The current law authorizes the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt regulations necessary to license persons to grow industrial hemp or administer a research program. The bill requires the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services to establish a licensure program, with a maximum license fee of $250"