(1) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of agriculture;
(2) "Industrial hemp" means all parts and varieties of the plant cannabis sativa L. containing no greater than one percent tetrahydrocannabinol; and
(3) "Marijuana" means all plant material from the genus cannabis containing more than one percent tetrahydrocannabinol or seeds of the genus capable of germination.
(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) 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.
(e) Notwithstanding any provision of this article or the provisions of chapter sixty-a of this code to the contrary, only the Department of Agriculture and state institutions of higher learning licensed and authorized by the commissioner to do so may lawfully grow or cultivate industrial hemp in this state.
(1) Documentation showing that the seeds planted are of a type and variety certified to contain no more than one percent tetrahydrocannabinol; and
(2) A copy of any contract to grow industrial hemp.
(b) Each licensee shall notify the commissioner of the sale or distribution of any industrial hemp grown by the licensee, including, but not limited to, the name and address of the person or entity receiving the industrial hemp and the amount of industrial hemp sold.
(1) Testing of the industrial hemp during growth to determine tetrahydrocannabinol levels;
(2) Supervision of the industrial hemp during its growth and harvest;
(3) Assessment of a fee that is commensurate with the costs of the commissioner's activities in licensing, testing and supervising industrial hemp production;
(4) Promulgate rules relating to the production and sale of industrial hemp which are consistent with the rules of the United States department of justice, drug enforcement administration for the production, distribution and sale of industrial hemp; and
(5) Any other rules and procedures necessary to carry out the purposes of this article.
(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 defendant was growing industrial hemp pursuant to the provisions of this article.
(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.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
The West Virginia Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.