Somewhere near Cape Charles, eight acres of cannabis nods in an Eastern Shore breeze. It looks like pot. It smells like pot.
Don’t call the law. The cops already know.
This is a test plot of industrial hemp – a member of the marijuana family that could become a common sight across the state if all goes as planned.
For now, though, this plot is the only one of its kind in Hampton Roads, so it’s probably wise not to pinpoint its location. These plants won’t get anyone stoned, but hemp was banned in the U.S. for decades because it resembles the kind of cannabis that will.
That likeness might attract bud snatchers, even though “you could smoke the whole field and all you’d get is a giant headache,” said Mark Bundy Jr., whose family owns the land.
Bundy is among 114 growers in the commonwealth now authorized to raise hemp for research – the result of new federal and state laws that have led to the first legal cannabis in Virginia soil in modern history.
The main motivation: Exploring alternatives to the usual soybeans, corn and wheat. [Read more at The Virginia-Pilot]