Hemp applications grow in West Virginia

Hemp industry

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia agriculture officials say the number of farmers planning to grow hemp and the amount of land they propose to use continues to climb.

News outlets reports the Agriculture Department announced the increase Tuesday, saying the number of licenses issued to farmers has increased from 46 last year to 158 this year. The agency says the amount of acreage farmers plan to use for cultivation also saw a steep increase, from 155 acres (63 hectares) last year to 1,532 acres (620 hectares) this year.

West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt said in a statement that farmers are excited to tap into the new crop.

Although state lawmakers took action in 2017 to allow industrial hemp cultivation, the 2018 Federal Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of federally controlled substances.

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