H. B. 3011
(By Delegates Manypenny, Walker, Swartzmiller,
Canterbury and Ambler)
(Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary)
[February 19, 2014]
A BILL to amend and reenact §19-12E-5 and §19-12E-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to removing the provision that requires an applicant to meet federal requirements concerning the production, distribution and sale of industrial hemp prior to being licensed to grow hemp for industrial purposes in the state or as part of a complete defense to a prosecution for the possession or cultivation of marijuana.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §19-12E-5 and §19-12E-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 12E. INDUSTRIAL HEMP DEVELOPMENT ACT.
§19-12E-5. Industrial hemp - licensing.
(a) A person growing industrial hemp for commercial purposes shall apply to the commissioner for license on a form prescribed by the commissioner.
(b) The application for a license must include the name and address of the applicant and the legal description of the land area to be used for the production of industrial hemp.
(c) The commissioner shall require each first-time applicant for a license to file a set of the applicant’s fingerprints, taken by a law-enforcement officer, and any other information necessary to complete a statewide and nationwide criminal history check with the criminal investigation bureau of the department of justice for state processing and with the federal Bureau of Investigation for federal processing. All of the costs associated with the criminal history check are the responsibility of the applicant. Criminal history records provided to the department under this section are confidential. The commissioner may use the records only to determine if an applicant is eligible to receive a license for the production of industrial hemp.
(d) Prior to issuing a license under the provisions of this article, the commissioner shall determine that the applicant has complied with all applicable requirements of the United States department of justice, drug enforcement administration for the production, distribution and sale of industrial hemp.
(e) (d) If the applicant has completed the application process to the satisfaction of the commissioner, the commissioner shall issue the license which is valid until December 31, of the year of application. An individual licensed under this section is presumed to be growing industrial hemp for commercial purposes.
§19-12E-9. Defense for possession or cultivation of marijuana.
(a) It is a complete defense to a prosecution for the possession or cultivation of marijuana pursuant to the provisions of article four, chapter sixty-a of this code that:
(1) The defendant was growing industrial hemp pursuant to the provisions of this article;
(2) The defendant has a valid applicable controlled substances registration from the United States department of justice, drug enforcement administration; and
(3) The defendant fully complied with all of the conditions of the controlled substances registration.
(b) This section is not a defense to a charge of criminal sale or distribution of marijuana as defined in chapter sixty-a of this code which does not meet the definition of industrial hemp.