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Industrial Hemp

Marijuana licenses; April 2021 update

The Virginia General Assembly recently passed legislation that establishes the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority, which will oversee Virginia's adult use marijuana program, and a regulatory scheme for the regulation of marijuana cultivation facilities, marijuana manufacturing facilities, marijuana testing facilities, marijuana wholesalers, and retail marijuana stores. This regulatory scheme will need to be reenacted, or passed again, by the General Assembly in 2022 in order to take effect.

The applications for a license to operate a marijuana cultivation facility, marijuana manufacturing facility, marijuana testing facility, marijuana wholesaler, and retail marijuana store will be made available by the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority, once that agency is established and develops the licensure program.

For more information regarding Virginia's Cannabis Program, please visit Cannabis.Virginia.gov

USDA’s Final Hemp Production Rule

The federal government delayed the repeal of the authority under which the VDACS is currently administering an agricultural pilot program to study the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp. As such, VDACS is able to continue as the primary regulator of hemp production in Virginia through December 2021, and VDACS has advised the USDA that VDACS will continue to operate a hemp agricultural pilot program that meets the requirements outlined in the 2014 federal Farm Bill through this date.

On August 30, 2021, VDACS submitted its proposed plan to regulate hemp production in accordance with USDA’s final Hemp Production Rule.  USDA provided feedback on VDACS’s plan and requested that VDACS clarify or revise certain provisions of the plan. On November 17, 2021, VDACS submitted a revised plan to USDA.

VDACS will communicate the requirements for Virginia’s hemp growers that will become effective on January 1, 2022, once USDA issues a determination regarding VDACS’s proposal. 

2021 Hemp Growing Season in Virginia

Through December 2021, VDACS will administer a 2014 federal Farm Bill hemp program. During the 2021 growing season, VDACS will regulate hemp production much like it did during the 2020 growing season.

If you want to grow hemp in 2021:

  • 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; however, the process to review applications and issue Industrial Hemp Grower, Processor, and Dealer Registrations is taking approximately 45 business days.
  • 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 2021.  
  • 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.
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 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.

Dealership Updates
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.

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
Nikeya Thomas
804.786.1241
Nikeya.Thomas@vdacs.virginia.gov


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