In 2021, the Virginia General Assembly adopted the legislation that established the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority and authorized it to oversee Virginia's prospective adult-use marijuana retail market; however, the 2022 General Assembly did not reenact the regulatory scheme for the regulation of an adult-use marijuana retail market. As such, there is not currently a legal, adult-use marijuana retail market or an adult-use marijuana licensure program in Virginia.
For more information regarding the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority, please visit cca.virginia.gov.
On November 19, 2021, USDA approved VDACS’s Plan to Regulate Hemp Production in the Commonwealth. As such, beginning January 1, 2022, VDACS will regulate industrial hemp production in Virginia in accordance with the 2018 federal Farm Bill’s hemp provisions, USDA’s Domestic Hemp Production Program regulation, and the Virginia Industrial Hemp Law. Should the federal government provide new flexibility in the regulation of the production of industrial hemp, VDACS will consider the implementation of any program modifications that will benefit Virginia’s industrial hemp growers.
VDACS’s regulation of industrial hemp growers in Virginia must comply with federal law regarding hemp production.
Notably, federal law requires that VDACS review an individual’s criminal history report before authorizing the individual to grow industrial hemp. Additionally, growers must obtain a farm number from USDA’s Farm Service Agency and must sample and test each of their industrial hemp lots no more than 30 days before harvest. Please review the Know Before You Grow (pdf) document for additional information regarding the requirements to grow industrial hemp in Virginia.
As it has in previous years, VDACS will continue to assess compliance using an industrial hemp lot’s post-decarboxylation delta-9 THC (aka Total delta-9 THC). The THC concentration of your hemp crop may not exceed 0.3 percent Total delta-9 THC.
Industrial Hemp Grower Registration
“Grower” means any person registered pursuant to subsection A of Va. Code § 3.2-4115 to plant, cultivate, or harvest industrial hemp. The application fee for an Industrial Hemp Grower Registration is $150.
Industrial Hemp Registrations are annual registrations that expire one year from the date of issuance. There is no deadline to apply; however, the process to review applications and issue Industrial Hemp Grower, Processor, and Dealer Registrations is taking approximately 45 days.
Before you submit an application for an Industrial Hemp Grower Registration, you will need to obtain an FBI Identity History Summary. The FBI Identity History Summary you submit to VDACS may not be dated more than 60 days before the date of your application. If a business entity holds or will hold an Industrial Hemp Grower Registration, all key participants in the business must obtain an FBI Identity History Summary. A “key participant” is a sole proprietor; each partner in a partnership; or each person with executive managerial control in a corporation, including the chief executive officer, the chief operating officer, and the chief financial officer.
Industrial Hemp Lot Updates
To change or add an industrial hemp lot (production field) to your registration, complete the form below.
A Registered Industrial Hemp Grower must submit a planting report within 14 calendar days of planting seeds, clones, or cuttings. If you plant multiple times throughout the growing season, you will need to submit multiple planting reports.
If you do not plant industrial hemp on an industrial hemp lot stated on your registration, you must submit a planting report for that lot by October 31.
A Registered Industrial Hemp Grower must submit a harvest report within 5 calendar days of:
- Harvesting an industrial hemp lot
- Experiencing a complete failure of an industrial hemp lot
- Voluntarily destroying an industrial hemp lot
A Registered Industrial Hemp Grower who experiences a complete crop failure of an industrial hemp lot or who voluntarily destroys an industrial hemp lot should state the Total Harvested as "0" and note the primary reason for the crop failure or destruction and note the method used to destroy the crop (burn, mulch, till) in the "Explanation of Discrepancy" column of the harvest report.
Non-compliant industrial hemp lots
An industrial hemp lot with a THC concentration that exceeds the acceptable industrial hemp THC level, as determined by VDACS after compliance testing, must be remediated or destroyed.
Upon receipt and review of the grower’s laboratory compliance test results, VDACS will notify the grower via email if VDACS has determined that an industrial hemp lot has exceeded the acceptable industrial hemp THC level. This email will also explain the grower’s next steps in the compliance process, including the documentation that the grower must submit to VDACS.
A Registered Industrial Hemp Grower whose industrial hemp lot exceeds the acceptable industrial hemp THC level may choose one of the following options to remedy the situation: Destruction or Remediation. A grower may choose from two methods of remediation: (i) remove and destroy all flower material, while retaining stalk, stems, leaf material, or seeds or (ii) shred the entire industrial hemp lot. A grower who elects to remediate an industrial hemp lot must obtain the services of a Trained Sampling Agent and approved testing laboratory to sample and test, respectively, the remediated industrial hemp lot.
A Registered Industrial Hemp Grower may wish to provide an “Agent Documentation” form to each person you intend to serve as your agent for the limited purpose of growing industrial hemp. You do not need to submit this form to VDACS.
Sampling and Testing Industrial Hemp
Become a Sampling Agent who Conducts Regulatory Sampling
Anyone who will collect pre-harvest or post-remediation industrial hemp samples used to determine a lot’s compliance with the Virginia Industrial Hemp Law must:
Sampling Agents collecting an industrial hemp sample that will used to be determine a lot’s compliance with the Virginia Industrial Hemp Law must follow the sample collection procedures described in VDACS’s 2023 Field Sampling Guidelines.
In order to be added to VDACS’s Trained Sampling Agent List, complete the appropriate Sampling Agent Training offered by USDA, read VDACS’s 2023 Field Sampling Guidelines, then submit the Industrial Hemp Sampling Agent application with a copy of your certificate of completion for the appropriate USDA sampling agent training.
Become a Laboratory that Conducts Regulatory Testing
Any laboratory that will analyze the THC concentration of a pre-harvest or post-remediation industrial hemp sample used to determine a lot’s compliance with the Virginia Industrial Hemp Law must:
- Use gas or liquid chromatography with detection,
- Document it is able to meet the requirements in 7 CFR 990.3(a)(3)(iii),
- Be approved to conduct regulatory testing by VDACS,
- Report certain information, including test results, to VDACS via email, and
- Report certain information, including test results, to USDA via USDA’s Hemp eManagement Platform.
To receive VDACS approval to conduct regulatory testing, a laboratory must submit the Industrial Hemp Testing Laboratory application and required documentation.
Find a Sampling Agent or a Testing Laboratory
Registered Industrial Hemp Growers must hire a sampling agent listed on VDACS’s Trained Sampling Agents List to collect a representative sample of each lot of industrial hemp no more than 30 days before the lot is harvested. Growers must use a VDACS-approved Testing Laboratory to test the Total THC of this sample. Growers are responsible for the cost of sampling, sample delivery or shipping, and testing.
Industrial Hemp Dealer Registration
“Dealer” means any person registered pursuant to subsection A of Va. Code § 3.2-4115 to deal in industrial hemp. “Dealer” does not include a retail establishment that sells or offers for sale a hemp product. An industrial hemp registration is not needed to sell a hemp product.
“Deal” means to temporarily possess industrial hemp grown in compliance with state or federal law that (i) has not been processed and (ii) was not grown and will not be processed by the person temporarily possessing it.
To apply for an Industrial Hemp Dealer Registration or to renew your Industrial Hemp Dealer Registration, complete the application below. The application fee is $250.
For information regarding how to obtain the coordinates for your dealership location(s), please click here.
To change or add a dealership to your registration or to change the name or contact information associated with your registration, complete the form below.
A Registered Industrial Hemp Dealer may wish to provide an “Agent Documentation” form to each person you intend to serve as your agent for the limited purpose of dealing industrial hemp. You do not need to submit this form to VDACS.
Industrial Hemp Processor Registration
“Processor” means any person registered pursuant to subsection A of Va. Code § 3.2-4115 to convert industrial hemp into a hemp product. “Hemp product” means any finished product that contains industrial hemp, including rope, building materials, automobile parts, animal bedding, animal feed, cosmetics, oil containing an industrial hemp extract, or food or food additives for human consumption.
To apply for an Industrial Hemp Processor Registration or to renew your Industrial Hemp Processor Registration, complete the application below. The application fee is $200.
For information regarding how to obtain the coordinates for your process site(s), please click here.
Process Site Updates
To change or add a process site to your registration, complete the form below.
A Registered Industrial Hemp Processor may wish to provide an “Agent Documentation” form to each person you intend to serve as your agent for the limited purpose of processing industrial hemp. You do not need to submit this form to VDACS.
Finding a Registered Industrial Hemp Dealer or Processor
Section 3.2-4115(D) of the Virginia Industrial Hemp Law provides that all records, data, and information filed in support of an industrial hemp grower, dealer, or processor registration application shall be considered proprietary and excluded from the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Despite this exclusion from FOIA, some registered dealers or processors have requested that VDACS provide the public with certain information.
If your hemp product is intended for human consumption:
On July 15, 2019, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services advised Registered Industrial Hemp Processors that the Northam Administration has directed VDACS to treat hemp-derived extracts intended for human consumption as approved food additives and to place qualifying Registered Industrial Hemp Processors under food safety inspection so that inspected and approved processors may manufacture a hemp-derived extract intended for human consumption.
Registered Industrial Hemp Processors who plan to produce a hemp-derived extract intended for human consumption should review VDACS's Food Safety Program's letter dated July 25, 2019, outlining the current policy directives and submit an application to operate as a Manufacturer of a Hemp-Derived Extract Intended for Human Consumption. Please contact VDACS's Food Safety Program for additional information.
If your intended hemp-derived product is not an extract but is intended for human consumption, please contact VDACS's Food Safety Program for additional information.
Please note that the requirements in Virginia's Food and Drink Law do not pertain to the production or sale of topical products.
If you intend to distribute industrial hemp planting seed in Virginia, please review Virginia’s Seed Law and contact VDACS’s Agricultural Commodities Team for additional information on obtaining a Seed Dealers License.
If you intend to bring hemp clones or plants into Virginia, please contact VDACS’s Office of Plant Industry Services to determine whether a phytosanitary certificate is needed to do such.
VDACS has issued information to assist industrial hemp growers in identifying pesticide products that may be used on hemp crops grown in Virginia.
Information regarding VDACS’s pesticide product registration process and currently registered pesticides is available here. Please contact VDACS’s Office of Pesticide Services if you have questions regarding pesticide use in Virginia.
Industrial Hemp Industry Development Work Group
Chapter 745 of the 2020 Acts of Assembly requires VDACS to convene a Work Group to assess the opportunities for development and manufacturing in the industrial hemp industry. The legislation establishes the membership of the Work Group and directs the Work Group to consider the following six areas in its assessment of opportunities for development and manufacturing in the industrial hemp industry: (i) federal and state requirements; (ii) key drivers and challenges; (iii) anticipated job growth and wage expectations; (iv) talent and skill requirements; (v) site and building needs; and (vi) manufacturing companies and supply chain requirements.
Below are links to the Work Group’s agendas, minutes, and meeting recordings.