A slew of hemp-related bills has been making its way through the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate since the new year. Many of the bills have important consequences for cannabis growers that could result in better business opportunities related to the cultivation and sale of hemp and cannabis for industrial and recreational use.
Among the important pieces of legislation we’re seeing pass through the General Assembly are:
Read on to learn more about what these bills can mean for cannabis farmers in Virginia.
HB962 – Legalizes Sale of Smokable Hemp Flower
With HB962 on the governor’s desk, Virginia is poised to become the next of a growing collective of states legalizing the sale of smokable hemp flower to people 21 or older. The bill received a clear but tempered 83-16 approval in the House of Delegates, while receiving a stronger support of 37-3 in the Senate.
While HB962 would legalize cannabis sales, simple possession is still a misdemeanor punishable by up to $500 and 30 days in jail for first-time offenses. A pending senate bill (SB2), however, would decriminalize simple marijuana possession by providing a civil penalty of up to $50 or five hours of community service.
HB943 – Changes to THC Testing for Growers
According to CannaBizVA, HB943 would have required hemp growers to test for THC in their product after harvest. The non-profit stated it lobbied to challenge the measure because of feedback it received from CannaBizVa members, and the bill was unanimously defeated.
HB1430 – Industrial Hemp Extract is an Approved Food in Virginia
Passed with unanimous support, HB1430 established production requirements for industrial hemp extract – or food products that use it – for human consumption. The bill gives the OK to the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to establish regulations regarding labeling, containment tolerances, and testing.
HB1670 – Pharmaceutical Processes Can Purchase Industrial Hemp
According to CannaBizVA, pharmaceutical companies are now allowed to purchase industrial hemp grown and processed from a state-registered hemp dealer or processor. Hemp products can be further processed by pharmaceutical companies to create cannabis plant extracts in allowable doses.
Need a hemp lawyer to help your cannabis business? Contact Virginia Hemp Lawyers online for support!