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Introduced Version House Bill 2243 History

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hb2243 intr
H. B. 2243


(By Delegates Stemple, Spencer, Boggs and Pethtel)
[Introduced February 11, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources then the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §19-1A-3a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to removing the seasonal restriction concerning when cultivated ginseng may be harvested.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §19-1A-3a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1A. DIVISION OF FORESTRY.

§19-1A-3a. Providing criminal penalties for the illegal possession of uncertified ginseng.

(a) The Division of Forestry of the Department of Commerce, Labor and Environmental Resources shall have jurisdiction to regulate the digging, possession and sale of native, wild or cultivated ginseng: Provided, That the digging season for wild or native or cultivated ginseng shall begin on the fifteenth day of August and end on the thirtieth day of November of each year unless otherwise authorized by the director: Provided, however, That this seasonal restriction does not apply to the harvesting of cultivated ginseng. Ginseng dealers shall: (1) Obtain a ginseng dealer's permit from the director; (2) keep on forms provided by the director accurate records for all ginseng acquired showing the year harvested, the date acquired by the dealer, county of origin, weight and whether wild or cultivated; and (3) have all records and all acquired ginseng inspected by the director at official ginseng inspection stations for the purpose of certifying the dealer's records and issuing a certificate documenting the inspection and the weight of the ginseng. All ginseng dug in West Virginia must be certified by the director before being transported or shipped out of the State. No person shall have in his or her possession uncertified green ginseng from the first day of April through the fourteenth day of August.
(b) A person convicted of possession of uncertified green ginseng from the first day of April through the fourteenth day of August shall be punished as follows:
(A) First offense conviction. -- Upon a first offense conviction:
(i) When the value of the ginseng is two hundred dollars or less, the defendant is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than four hundred dollars.
(ii) When the value of the ginseng exceeds two hundred dollars, the defendant is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than four hundred dollars, nor more than six hundred dollars, and such fine may not be suspended; or the defendant shall be imprisoned in the county jail not more than thirty days; or both fined and imprisoned.
(B) Second offense conviction. -- Upon a second offense conviction:
(i) When the value of the ginseng is two hundred dollars or less, the defendant is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than two hundred dollars nor more than six hundred dollars, and such fine may not be suspended; or the defendant shall be imprisoned in the county jail not more than sixty days; or both fined and imprisoned.
(ii) When the value of the ginseng exceeds two hundred dollars, the defendant shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than six hundred dollars, nor more than one thousand dollars, and shall be imprisoned in the county jail for not less than sixty days nor more than six months. At least thirty days shall be spent in confinement and not subject to probation.
(C) Third offense conviction. -- Upon a third or subsequent conviction, regardless of the value of the ginseng, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be fined not less than six hundred dollars nor more than six thousand dollars, and shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary a state correctional facility not less than one year nor more than two years, or, be confined in the county jail not more than one year.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to
remove the seasonal restriction concerning when cultivated ginseng may be harvested.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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