(b) The tobacco growers of the state are not a party or a beneficiary of the master settlement agreement.
(c) In view of the master settlement agreement, similar agreements between other states and tobacco product manufacturers, and the heightened public awareness and scrutiny of the dangers associated with cigarette smoking, the state has a significant interest in protecting tobacco growers from negative economic and financial consequences arising from changes in the cigarette industry, such as decreased consumption, demand and prices.
(d) On the twenty-first day of January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, leading United States tobacco product manufacturers agreed to establish a national tobacco community trust, for the sole benefit of tobacco growers, payable over a twelve-year period, beginning in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine. The tobacco growers in this state (and thirteen other states) are eligible to participate in the national tobacco community trust upon the creation of a state tobacco grower board, which will consummate a tobacco grower settlement with the tobacco product manufacturers.
(b) "Master settlement agreement" means the settlement agreement (and related documents) entered into on the twenty-third day of November, one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight, by the state and leading United States tobacco product manufacturers.
(c) "National tobacco community trust" means the trust fund agreed to by leading United States tobacco product manufacturers, to be established and funded by them for the sole benefit of state tobacco growers.
(d) "Tobacco grower" means a person who has a direct financial interest in planting, cultivating and harvesting tobacco for sale. Tobacco grower includes a person who possesses a quota to market tobacco as administered by the United States Department of Agriculture.
(e) "Trust" means the national tobacco community trust as defined in subsection (c) of this section.
(a) The consummation of a settlement with leading United States tobacco product manufacturers for the exclusive benefit of state tobacco growers;
(b) The execution of all necessary written agreements relative to the national tobacco community trust to ensure state tobacco growers' receipt of funds directly from the trust;
(c) Consultation with tobacco growers within the state in order to determine how funds allocated by the national tobacco community trust shall be distributed among state tobacco growers to compensate them for the adverse effects of decreased consumption, demand and price for cigarettes;
(d) The submission of a plan to the national tobacco community trust identifying state tobacco growers and the distribution of trust funds to state tobacco growers; and
(e) The certification of instructions annually to the national tobacco community trust regarding distribution of funds from the trust directly to the state tobacco growers during the twelve year payment period, beginning in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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