VA General Assembly Approves Industrial Hemp Farming Act 2015

WINCHESTER, Va.When some think of hemp, they think of jewelry. Whereas others think of marijuana.

However, with the help of one bill giving hemp a whole new meaning, it will boost the state’s economy and agriculture.

“There’s a lot of misinformation and lack of education of people’s part as far as different types of hemp that are used as opposed to the bud used for recreational purposes as well as the stem is used for making clothing, paper and other goods as well too,” said Clay Smith, Harvest Moon Natural Foods owner.

The Virginia General Assembly recently approved the Industrial Hemp Farming Act 2015 and once Governor McAuliffe signs the bill, it will officially become a law.

The law will allow hemp to be grown, so it can be used to create products such as paper, plastic or fiber.

“We are poised to be able to allow our state universities and Department of Agriculture to approve the growing and cultivation and processing of industrial hemp in Virginia for the purposes of pilot programs,” said Chase Milner, Shenandoah Valley regional director of Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition.

The Shenandoah Valley region carried historical ties to growing large amounts of hemp, and it is being brought back with a positive name this time, something community members are supporting.

“I think it’s a great idea. It’s going to provide jobs, give us a renewable resource. I mean, hemp paper can be recycled as many as seven times, so it’s a great renewable resource and it provides farmers another chance to grow,” added Smith.

It is a chance to create jobs and recreate a new image for green technology.

Once the governor signs the bill, the act will officially become a law by July 2015 if all goes as planned.




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