West Virginia expands hemp licensing

West Virginia state seal

The U.S. state of West Virginia has expanded the possibility to grow hemp outside of a current program that only allows it under state educational programs.

Under the change, the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture can license individual farmers and farming companies along with state colleges and universities.

First-time applicants must submit their fingerprints and pay for state and federal background. The licenses expire Dec. 31 each year.

State agriculture officials say industrial hemp could play a role in improving the state’s economy.