Industrial hemp; federal Farm Bill. (HB1839)

Introduced By

Del. Danny Marshall (R-Danville) with support from co-patron Del. James Edmunds (R-South Boston)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Industrial hemp; federal Farm Bill; emergency. Conforms Virginia law to the provisions of the federal 2018 Farm Bill by amending the definitions of cannabidiol oil, marijuana, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to exclude industrial hemp that is grown, dealt, or processed in compliance with state or federal law. The bill defines "industrial hemp" as any part of the plant Cannabis sativa that has a concentration of THC that is no greater than that allowed by federal law, and it adds the category of "dealer" in industrial hemp to the existing registration categories of grower and processor. The bill also removes a provision in current law that makes it unnecessary for a prosecutor to negate an industrial hemp exemption in a drug prosecution; such current provision places the burden of proof of any such exemption on the defendant. The bill requires any registered grower, dealer, or processor who negligently violates the law to comply with a corrective action plan established by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services (the Commissioner). The plan must identify a date by which the person is required to correct the violation and requires the person to report periodically for not less than two calendar years on his compliance with the law. No person who negligently violates the industrial hemp law three times in a five-year period is eligible to grow, deal in, or process industrial hemp for a period of five years beginning on the date of the third violation. The bill directs the Commissioner to (i) revoke the registration of any registered grower, dealer, or processor who violates the law with a culpable mental state greater than negligence and (ii) advise the Attorney General of the United States and the Superintendent of State Police, or the chief law-enforcement officer of the county or city, when such person grows, deals in, or processes any Cannabis sativa with a concentration of THC that is greater than that allowed by federal law with a culpable mental state greater than negligence. The bill abolishes the higher education and Virginia industrial hemp research programs, along with the requirement that a grower or processor act exclusively within such a program. The bill authorizes the Commissioner to charge a fee for certain THC testing. Finally, the bill directs the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to report to the General Assembly by September 1, 2019, on the fiscal impact of the growth of the industrial hemp industry upon the Department's registration program and the existence of any need to alter the registration fee. The bill includes an emergency clause. Read the Bill »

Status

01/09/2019: Awaiting a Vote in the Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee

History

DateAction
01/02/2019Committee
01/02/2019Prefiled and ordered printed with emergency clause; offered 01/09/19 19101287D
01/02/2019Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
01/09/2019Assigned ACNR sub: Subcommittee #1
01/14/2019Impact statement from VCSC (HB1839)

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