Industrial hemp; federal Farm Bill. (SB1692)

Introduced By

Sen. Frank Ruff (R-Clarksville) with support from co-patron Sen. Ben Chafin (R-Lebanon)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Industrial hemp; federal Farm Bill; emergency. Conforms Virginia law to the provisions of the federal 2018 Farm Bill by amending the definitions of cannabidiol oil, marijuana, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to exclude industrial hemp in the possession of a registered person, hemp products, or an oil containing no more than 0.3% THC. The bill defines "industrial hemp" as any part of the plant Cannabis sativa that has a concentration of THC that is no greater than that allowed by federal law, and it defines "hemp product" as any finished product that is otherwise lawful and that contains industrial hemp. The bill it adds the category of "dealer" in industrial hemp to the existing registration categories of grower and processor. The bill requires any registered grower, dealer, or processor who negligently violates the law to comply with a corrective action plan established by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services (the Commissioner). The plan must identify a date by which the person is required to correct the violation and requires the person to report periodically for not less than two calendar years on his compliance with the law. No person who negligently violates the industrial hemp law three times in a five-year period is eligible to grow, deal in, or process industrial hemp for a period of five years beginning on the date of the third violation. The bill directs the Commissioner to (i) revoke the registration of any registered grower, dealer, or processor who violates the law with a culpable mental state greater than negligence and (ii) advise the Attorney General of the United States and the Superintendent of State Police, or the chief law-enforcement officer of the county or city, when such person grows, deals in, or processes any Cannabis sativa with a concentration of THC that is greater than that allowed by federal law with a culpable mental state greater than negligence. The bill authorizes the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (the Department), if it obtains the approval of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, to refrain from requiring destruction of industrial hemp until the THC level is greater than 0.6%, and it authorizes the Department at that point to allow a re-test of the industrial hemp if the THC level is no greater than one percent. The bill abolishes the higher education and Virginia industrial hemp research programs, along with the requirement that a grower or processor act exclusively within such a program. The bill authorizes the Commissioner to charge a fee for certain THC testing. Finally, the bill directs the Department to report by December 1, 2019, (a) to the General Assembly on the fiscal impact of the growth of the industrial hemp industry upon the Department's registration program and the existence of any need to alter the registration fee and (b) to the Chairmen of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees on the viability of markets for Virginia industrial hemp growers, the types of products made from industrial hemp that can be produced in Virginia, and the economic benefits and costs of production of such products. The bill also directs the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and the Secretary of Health and Human Resources to report by November 1, 2019, on the appropriate standards, if any, for the production of an oil with a THC concentration of no greater than 0.3 percent that is derived from industrial hemp. The bill contains an emergency clause. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/14/2019Presented and ordered printed with emergency clause 19104500D
01/14/2019Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
01/15/2019Impact statement from VCSC (SB1692)
01/24/2019Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with substitite (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/24/2019Committee substitute printed 19105767D-S1
01/28/2019Impact statement from VCSC (SB1692S1)
01/28/2019Constitutional reading dispensed (37-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/29/2019Read second time
01/29/2019Reading of substitute waived
01/29/2019Committee substitute agreed to 19105767D-S1
01/29/2019Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB1692S1
01/30/2019Read third time and passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/31/2019Impact statement from DPB (SB1692S1)
02/04/2019Placed on Calendar
02/04/2019Read first time
02/04/2019Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
02/13/2019House committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
02/13/2019Reported from Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources with substitute (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/13/2019Committee substitute printed 19106765D-H1
02/14/2019Read second time
02/15/2019VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (94-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/15/2019Read third time
02/15/2019Committee substitute agreed to 19106765D-H1
02/15/2019Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB1692H1
02/15/2019Passed House with substitute BLOCK VOTE (94-Y 0-N)
02/15/2019Reconsideration of House passage agreed to by House
02/15/2019Passed House with substitute BLOCK VOTE (95-Y 0-N)
02/15/2019VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE #2 (95-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/15/2019Impact statement from DPB (SB1692H1)
02/19/2019House substitute agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/19/2019Title replaced 19106765D-H1
02/22/2019Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB1692ER)
02/22/2019Impact statement from VCSC (SB1692ER)
02/22/2019Signed by President
02/22/2019Signed by Speaker
02/25/2019Impact statement from DPB (SB1692ER)
03/04/2019Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on March 4, 2019
03/04/2019G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 26, 2019
03/21/2019G Approved by Governor-Chapter 654 (effective 3/21/19)
03/21/2019G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0654)