The passing of the federal Farm Bill 2014, which features Section 7606, allows state departments of agriculture and universities to cultivate industrial hemp for purposes of research. The law requires that grow sites be certified by, and registered with, their respective state.
Virginia became the 22nd state to legalize research-based hemp cultivation last summer when its General Assembly passed House Bill 699. The bill authorized the creation of the Industrial Hemp Research Program and established regulations for cultivating hemp in the state, which is only allowed by qualified researchers at public institutions of higher education and in partnership with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). Shortly after the bill’s passing, researchers at Virginia Tech applied for a state license.
“We look forward to working with our partners across the state to undertake research that has the potential to bring a new crop to Virginia’s already robust agricultural portfolio,” said Alan Grant, dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, after the university acquired a growing license. “Although we are only in the beginning stages of establishing this program, our research abilities, when combined with Virginia Cooperative Extension and our Agricultural Research and Extension Centers, can help this new initiative grow and benefit the state.” [Read more at Medical Marijuana Inc.]