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Industrial Hemp

USDA’s Interim Final Rule

On Jan. 15, 2020, VDACS submitted Virginia’s Plan to Regulate Hemp Production to USDA for review and approval. On Feb. 18, 2020, USDA provided VDACS with its feedback on Virginia’s Plan to Regulate Hemp Production and requested that VDACS make specific revisions and resubmit its plan.  

Due to the significant costs to implement and administer a regulatory program that complies with USDA's Interim Final Rule establishing its Domestic Hemp Production Program regulation and the Commonwealth's budget in light of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia has decided to defer to USDA for the administration of a 2018 Farm Bill-compliant hemp production regulatory program.

On August 18, 2020, VDACS notified USDA that VDACS will not be resubmitting a plan to regulate hemp production in the Commonwealth.

VDACS will continue to issue Industrial Hemp Grower, Dealer, and Processor Registrations.  Applications can be found below.

USDA Hemp License

If you plan to grow hemp after October 31, 2020, in order to comply with federal law and regulations, you will need to obtain a hemp producer license from USDA. 

You should apply now to obtain a hemp producer license from USDA. USDA is currently accepting applications on a rolling basis.  There is no application fee. USDA will begin issuing licenses to Virginia hemp growers on November 1, 2020.

2020 Hemp Growing Season In Virginia

The 2020 Appropriation Act increases the annual fee for the industrial hemp grower, processor, and dealer registrations. The General Assembly adopted this fee increase in an effort to help the Industrial Hemp Program become a self-sustaining program. Any registration application or renewal received by VDACS on or after July 1, 2020, must be accompanied by the new fee. Effective July 1, 2020, the fee to apply for or renew a registration is as follows:

            Industrial Hemp Grower: $150

            Industrial Hemp Processor: $200

            Industrial Hemp Dealer: $250

Until Oct. 31, 2020, VDACS will administer a 2014 federal Farm Bill hemp program. During the 2020 growing season, VDACS will regulate hemp production much like it did during the 2019 growing season.
If you want to grow hemp in 2020:

  • Apply for an Industrial Hemp Grower Registration.  These are annual registrations that expire one year from the date of issuance. Please make sure to review the Registration Guide prior to submitting an application. There is no deadline to apply.
  • Submit a planting report within 14 calendar days after planting.
  • VDACS will select hemp production fields for sampling using a risk and random system. If your production field is selected, a VDACS inspector will contact you by the end of September 2020.  
  • As it has in previous years, VDACS will continue to assess compliance using a hemp crop’s post-decarboxylation delta-9 THC (aka Total THC).  The THC concentration of your hemp crop may not exceed 0.3 percent Total THC.

VDACS will alert Registered Industrial Hemp Growers to any significant changes to the 2020 Industrial Hemp Program and will update this page accordingly.

Grower resources

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.

To apply for an Industrial Hemp Grower Registration or to renew your Industrial Hemp Grower Registration, complete the application below. The application fee is $150.

Please click here for more information regarding the Industrial Hemp Grower Registration.

For information regarding how to obtain the coordinates for your production field(s), please click here.

Production Field Updates
To change or add a production field to your registration, complete the form below.

Planting Report
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 a production field stated on your registration, you must submit a planting report for that field by July 31.

Agent
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.

Research Report
The annual research report, previously required by the Virginia Industrial Hemp Law, is no longer required as of March 21, 2019.

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 (i) a registered grower, (ii) a registered processor, or (iii) any person who buys industrial hemp for personal use or retail sale in Virginia. The Industrial Hemp Dealer Registration is not intended for a retail establishment selling a hemp product.
“Deal” means to buy industrial hemp grown in compliance with state or federal law and to sell such industrial hemp to a person who (i) processes industrial hemp in compliance with state or federal law or (ii) sells industrial hemp to a person who processes industrial hemp in compliance with state or federal law.

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.

Please click here for more information regarding the Industrial Hemp Dealer Registration.

For information regarding how to obtain the coordinates for your dealership location(s), please click here.

Dealership Updates
To change or add a dealership to your registration, complete the form below.

Agent
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.

Please click here for more information regarding the Industrial Hemp Processor Registration.

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.

Agent
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.

Other Considerations

Please make sure to review the Registration Guide prior to submitting an application.

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.  If you have questions regarding this work group, please contact Stephen Versen, Program Manager, Office of Agriculture and Forestry Development, at Stephen.Versen@vdacs.virginia.gov.

Below are links to the Work Group’s agendas, minutes, and meeting recordings.

Contact
Erin Williams
804.786.7157

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