Second key hemp bill under consideration in Virginia

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Virginia’s Hemp Preparation Act (HB699) is scheduled for hearing in a House sub-committee meeting this afternoon, Jason Amatucci, Executive Director of the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition (VIHC) told HempToday.

The law would advance Virginia’s nascent hemp industry by setting the legal and regulatory base for Virginia farmers, processors and other hemp businesses to get up and running as soon as possible after the federal government completes reforms under the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (S.134 and H.R. 525). Key to that federal legislation is that it would remove industrial hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Virginia’s Hemp Preparation Act goes beyond the state’s Hemp Farming Act passed last year which authorized limited cultivation and research. Three state schools are involved in those studies.

The Preparation Act, sponsored by Delegate Brenda Pogge (R-96th – James City/York County), sets out Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) licensing guidelines under authorization of the VDACS board, sets the maximum licensing fee at $250 and provides a legal shield against the possession, cultivation and processing of industrial hemp into end products.

A State Senate companion bill to HB699 is coming soon, Amatucci said.

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