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USDA approves West Virginia's industrial hemp plan

By Clyde Craig

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture has received certification of approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the plan submitted regarding the regulation of industrial hemp.

Approval for the plan means producers will continue to be regulated at the state level in lieu of federal oversight, according to W.Va. Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt.

“Our staff took a lot of input from the public, as well as other states as they developed West Virginia’s plan," Leonhardt said.

"There was a lot of time, discussion and consideration throughout its development. We are happy to have obtained approval from the USDA.”

States had to submit and gain approval for a plan before October 31, 2020, he said. The USDA has approved 13 state plans thus far.

Farmers will continue to operate under the current rules and regulations for the 2020 growing season. After October 2020, West Virginian’s approved plan will go into effect.

“At the end of the day, this brings a lot of clarity for our farmers," Leonhardt said.

"With these guidelines, producers will know exactly what is expected of them in the coming seasons. We will continue to work with those producers on establishing best practices to further the industry,”

For more information, contact John Moredock, WVDA Hemp Program Coordinator, at 304-558-2212 or

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