Virginia Hemp Law

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2,197 acres of hemp were grown in Virginia in 2019

On this page you will find current Virginia hemp law along with a history of how Virginia hemp bills have progressed through the State capitol over the years. We also provide links to important information concerning Virginia hemp programs and state agency advisories or opinion letters.

Virginia Hemp Resources

Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Hemp Page

VDACS 2018 Annual Report on Virginia Industrial Hemp Program (pdf)

VDACS 2017 Annual Report on Virginia Industrial Hemp Program (pdf)

VDACS 2016 Annual Report on Virginia Industrial Hemp Program (pdf)

Recent News

Virginia Governor signs bill defining industrial hemp extract as food

On April 6, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill that defines “industrial hemp extract” as a food. Senate Bill...

Virginia’s first hemp crop in decades could signal new opportunity

RICHMOND — Marty Phipps started a business this year selling an innovative type of bedding for horses and small...

Virginia Hemp Laws & Regulations

SB 247

Industrial hemp research programs. The bill classifies all participants in any research program as either growers or processors and replaces the current licensing requirement, which requires a police background check, with a registration requirement. The bill will allow farmers to conduct research without partnering with a university and is Farm Bill compliant.


STATUS: Introduced Jan. 5, 2018

HB 532

Industrial hemp; removal of restrictions, registration of research program participants. Bill would remove licensing requirements but does not specify that registration and certification are required. The lack of registration and certification means that the program would not be Farm Bill compliant.


STATUS: Introduced Jan. 8, 2018

SB 691

Production of industrial hemp. Slightly different version than HB 699.

STATUS: Signed by Gov. McAuliffe 02/29/16

HB 699

Production of industrial hemp. Clarifies that it is lawful for a person with a license to manufacture industrial hemp products or engage in scientific, agricultural, or other research involving the applications of industrial hemp and that no person shall be prosecuted for the possession, cultivation, or manufacture of industrial hemp plant material or products. The current law authorizes the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt regulations necessary to license persons to grow industrial hemp or administer a research program. The bill requires the Board to adopt regulations as necessary to license persons to grow and process industrial hemp for any purpose and requires the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services to establish a licensure program, with a maximum license fee of $250.

2015SB 955

Allows the cultivation by licensed growers of industrial hemp as part of a university-managed research program. The bill defines industrial hemp as the plant Cannabis sativa with a concentration of THC no greater than that allowed by federal law, excludes industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana in the Drug Control Act, and bars the prosecution of a licensed grower under drug laws for the possession of industrial hemp as part of the research program. The bill directs the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to adopt relevant regulations and establish an industrial hemp research program to be managed by public institutions of higher education. This bill is identical to HB 1277 which was introduced by Del. Yost on 7/21/14. There wais a lobby day with Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition on January 19th at the state Capitol in Richmond. Click here to download the flyer.

STATUS: SB 955 was passed in the Senate 32-5 and in the House 98-0 and was signed into law by Governor McAuliiffe on 3/16/15.

HJ 605

Requests the Commission on Rural Prosperity to consider the growth and production of industrial hemp in Virginia as a means to promote rural prosperity.

Status: Passed on 2/16/01.

HJ 94

Memorializes the Secretary of Agriculture, the Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy to permit the controlled, experimental cultivation of industrial hemp in Virginia.

Status: Passed on 2/18/99.

HJ 656

Establishes a six-member joint subcommittee to study the economic benefits of, and barriers to, the production of industrial hemp in Virginia.