Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food
7/18/2019

Chapter 41.1. Industrial Hemp.

§ 3.2-4112. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Cannabis sativa product" means a product made from any part of the plant Cannabis sativa, including seeds thereof and any derivative, extract, cannabinoid, isomer, acid, salt, or salt of an isomer, whether growing or not, with a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol that is greater than that allowed by federal law.

"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.

"Dealer" means any person who is registered pursuant to subsection A of § 3.2-4115 to deal in industrial hemp. "Dealer" does not include (i) a grower, (ii) a processor, or (iii) any person who buys industrial hemp for personal use or retail sale in Virginia.

"Dealership" means the location at which a dealer stores or intends to store the industrial hemp in which he deals.

"Grow" means to plant, cultivate, or harvest a plant or crop.

"Grower" means any person registered pursuant to subsection A of § 3.2-4115 to grow industrial hemp.

"Hemp product" means any finished product that is otherwise lawful and 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.

"Industrial hemp" means any part of the plant Cannabis sativa, including seeds thereof and any derivative, extract, cannabinoid, isomer, acid, salt, or salt of an isomer, whether growing or not, with a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol that is no greater than that allowed by federal law.

"Process" means to convert industrial hemp into a hemp product.

"Processor" means a person registered pursuant to subsection A of § 3.2-4115 to process industrial hemp.

"Process site" means the location at which a processor processes or intends to process industrial hemp.

"Production field" means the land or area on which a grower is growing or intends to grow industrial hemp.

2015, cc. 158, 180; 2018, cc. 689, 690; 2019, cc. 653, 654.

§ 3.2-4113. Production of industrial hemp lawful.

A. It is lawful for a grower or his agent to grow, a dealer or his agent to deal in, or a processor or his agent to process industrial hemp in the Commonwealth for any lawful purpose. No grower or his agent, dealer or his agent, or processor or his agent shall be prosecuted under § 18.2-247, 18.2-248, 18.2-248.01, 18.2-248.1, 18.2-250, or 18.2-250.1 for the possession, growing, dealing, or processing of industrial hemp. In any complaint, information, or indictment, and in any action or proceeding brought for the enforcement of any provision of Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2 or the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.), it shall not be necessary to negate any exception, excuse, proviso, or exemption contained in this chapter or the Drug Control Act, and the burden of proof of any such exception, excuse, proviso, or exemption shall be on the defendant.

B. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize any person to violate any federal law or regulation.

C. No person shall be prosecuted under § 18.2-247, 18.2-248, 18.2-248.01, 18.2-248.1, 18.2-250, or 18.2-250.1 for the involuntary growth of industrial hemp through the inadvertent natural spread of seeds or pollen as a result of proximity to a production field, dealership, or process site.

2015, cc. 158, 180; 2016, cc. 61, 170; 2018, cc. 689, 690; 2019, cc. 653, 654.

§ 3.2-4114. Regulations.

The Board may adopt regulations pursuant to this chapter as necessary to register persons to grow, deal in, or process industrial hemp or implement the provisions of this chapter.

2015, cc. 158, 180; 2018, cc. 689, 690; 2019, cc. 653, 654.

§ 3.2-4114.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2019, cc. 653 and 654, cl. 2, effective March 21, 2019.

§ 3.2-4114.2. Authority of Commissioner; notice to law enforcement; report.

A. The Commissioner may charge a nonrefundable fee not to exceed $50 for any application for registration or renewal of registration allowed under this chapter. The Commissioner may charge a nonrefundable fee for the tetrahydrocannabinol testing allowed under this chapter. All fees collected by the Commissioner shall be deposited in the state treasury.

B. The Commissioner shall notify the Superintendent of State Police of the locations of all industrial hemp production fields, dealerships, and process sites.

C. The Commissioner shall forward a copy or appropriate electronic record of each registration issued by the Commissioner under this chapter to the chief law-enforcement officer of the county or city where industrial hemp will be grown, dealt, or processed.

D. The Commissioner shall be responsible for monitoring the industrial hemp grown, dealt, or processed by a person registered pursuant to subsection A of § 3.2-4115 and shall provide for random testing of the industrial hemp, at the cost of the grower, dealer, or processor, for compliance with tetrahydrocannabinol limits and for other appropriate purposes established pursuant to § 3.2-4114. In addition to any routine inspection and sampling, the Commissioner may inspect and sample the industrial hemp at any production field, dealership, or process site during normal business hours without advance notice if he has reason to believe a violation of this chapter is occurring or has occurred.

E. The Commissioner may require a grower, dealer, or processor to destroy, at the cost of the grower, dealer, or processor and in a manner approved of and verified by the Commissioner, any Cannabis sativa that the grower grows, in which the dealer deals, or that the processor processes that has been tested and is found to have a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol that is greater than that allowed by federal law, or any Cannabis sativa product that the processor produces.

F. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection E, if the provisions of subdivisions 1 and 2 are included in a plan that (i) is submitted by the Department pursuant to § 10113 of the federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, P.L. 115-334, (ii) requires the Department to monitor and regulate the production of industrial hemp in the Commonwealth, and (iii) is approved by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture:

1. The Commissioner may require a grower, dealer, or processor to destroy, at the cost of the grower, dealer, or processor and in a manner approved of and verified by the Commissioner, any Cannabis sativa that the grower grows, in which the dealer deals, or that the processor processes that has been tested and is found to have a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol that is greater than 0.6 percent.

2. If such a test of Cannabis sativa indicates a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol that is greater than 0.6 percent but less than one percent, the Commissioner shall allow the grower, dealer, or processor to request that the Cannabis sativa be sampled and tested again before he requires its destruction.

G. The Commissioner shall advise the Attorney General of the United States and the Superintendent of State Police or the chief law-enforcement officer of the appropriate county or city when, with a culpable mental state greater than negligence, a grower grows, a dealer deals in, or a processor processes any Cannabis sativa with a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol that is greater than that allowed by federal law or a processor produces a Cannabis sativa product.

H. The Commissioner may pursue any permits or waivers from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration or appropriate federal agency that he determines to be necessary for the advancement of the industrial hemp industry.

I. The Commissioner may establish a corrective action plan to address a negligent violation of any provision of this chapter.

2018, cc. 689, 690; 2019, cc. 653, 654.

§ 3.2-4115. Issuance of registrations.

A. The Commissioner shall establish a registration program to allow a person to grow, deal in, or process industrial hemp in the Commonwealth.

B. Any person seeking to grow, deal in, or process industrial hemp in the Commonwealth shall apply to the Commissioner for a registration on a form provided by the Commissioner. At a minimum, the application shall include:

1. The name and mailing address of the applicant;

2. The legal description and geographic data sufficient for locating (i) the land on which the applicant intends to grow industrial hemp, (ii) the site at which the applicant intends to deal in industrial hemp, or (iii) the site at which the applicant intends to process industrial hemp. A registration shall authorize industrial hemp growth, dealing in, or processing only at the location specified in the registration;

3. A signed statement indicating whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a felony. A person with a prior felony drug conviction within 10 years of applying for a registration under this section shall not be eligible to be registered;

4. Written consent allowing the sheriff's office, police department, or Department of State Police, if a registration is ultimately issued to the applicant, to enter the premises on which the industrial hemp is grown, dealt in, or processed to conduct physical inspections of the industrial hemp and to ensure compliance with the requirements of this chapter. No more than two physical inspections shall be conducted under this subdivision per year, unless a valid search warrant for an inspection has been issued by a court of competent jurisdiction;

5. Written consent allowing the Commissioner or his designee to enter the premises on which the industrial hemp is grown, dealt in, or processed to conduct inspections and sampling of the industrial hemp to ensure compliance with the requirements of this chapter;

6. A statement of the approximate square footage or acreage of the location he intends to use as a production field, dealership, or process site;

7. Any other information required by the Commissioner; and

8. The payment of a nonrefundable application fee, in an amount set by the Commissioner not to exceed $50.

C. Each registration issued pursuant to this section shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance and may be renewed in successive years. Each annual renewal shall require the payment of a registration renewal fee, in an amount set by the Commissioner not to exceed $50.

D. All records, data, and information filed in support of a registration application submitted pursuant to this section shall be considered proprietary and excluded from the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

2015, cc. 158, 180; 2018, cc. 689, 690; 2019, cc. 653, 654.

§ 3.2-4116. Registration conditions.

A. A person shall obtain a registration pursuant to subsection A of § 3.2-4115 prior to growing, dealing in, or processing any industrial hemp in the Commonwealth.

B. A person issued a registration pursuant to subsection A of § 3.2-4115 shall:

1. Maintain records that reflect compliance with this chapter and with all other state or federal laws regulating the growing, dealing in, or processing of industrial hemp;

2. Retain all industrial hemp growing, dealing, or processing records for at least three years;

3. Allow his production field, dealership, or process site to be inspected by and at the discretion of the Commissioner or his designee, the Department of State Police, or the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality in which the production field or dealership or process site exists;

4. Allow the Commissioner or his designee to monitor and test the grower's, dealer's, or processor's industrial hemp for compliance with tetrahydrocannabinol levels and for other appropriate purposes established pursuant to § 3.2-4114, at the cost of the grower, dealer, or processor; and

5. If required by the Commissioner, destroy, at the cost of the grower, dealer, or processor and in a manner approved of and verified by the Commissioner, any Cannabis sativa that the grower grows, the dealer deals in, or the processor processes that has been tested and, following any re-sampling and retesting as authorized pursuant to the provisions of § 3.2-4114.2, is found to have a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol that is greater than that allowed by federal law, or any Cannabis sativa product that the processor produces.

2015, cc. 158, 180; 2018, cc. 689, 690; 2019, cc. 653, 654.

§ 3.2-4117. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2019, cc. 653 and 654, cl. 2, effective March 21, 2019.

§ 3.2-4118. Forfeiture of industrial hemp grower, dealer, or processor registration; violations.

A. The Commissioner shall deny the application, or suspend or revoke the registration, of any person who, with a culpable mental state greater than negligence, violates any provision of this chapter. The Commissioner shall provide reasonable notice of an informal fact-finding conference pursuant to § 2.2-4019 to any person in connection with the denial, suspension, or revocation of a registration.

B. If a registration is revoked as the result of an informal hearing, the decision may be appealed, and upon appeal an administrative hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). The grower, dealer, or processor may appeal a final order to the circuit court in accordance with the Administrative Process Act.

C. A person issued a registration pursuant to subsection A of § 3.2-4115 who negligently (i) fails to provide a description and geographic data sufficient for locating his production field, dealership, or process site; (ii) grows, deals in, or processes Cannabis sativa with a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration greater than that allowed by federal law; or (iii) produces a Cannabis sativa product shall comply with any corrective action plan established by the Commissioner in accordance with the provisions of subsection E.

D. A person who grows, deals in, or processes industrial hemp and who negligently fails to register pursuant to subsection A of § 3.2-4115 shall comply with any corrective action plan established by the Commissioner in accordance with the provisions of subsection E.

E. A corrective action plan established by the Commissioner in response to a negligent violation of a provision of this chapter shall identify a reasonable date by which the person who is the subject of the plan shall correct the negligent violation and shall require such person to report periodically for not less than two calendar years to the Commissioner on the person's compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

F. No person who negligently violates the provisions of this chapter three times in a five-year period shall be eligible to grow, deal in, or process industrial hemp for a period of five years beginning on the date of the third violation.

2015, cc. 158, 180; 2018, cc. 689, 690; 2019, cc. 653, 654.

§ 3.2-4119. Eligibility to receive tobacco settlement funds.

Industrial hemp growers, dealers, or processors registered under this chapter may be eligible to receive funds from the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Fund established pursuant to § 3.2-3106.

2015, cc. 158, 180; 2018, cc. 689, 690; 2019, cc. 653, 654.

§ 3.2-4120. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2018, cc. 689 and 690, cl. 2.


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