West Virginia taking applications for hemp cultivation

Farmers in West Virginia can now apply to cultivate industrial hemp for commercial purposes, making the Mountain State the latest to show an interest in growing the plant.

The agriculture commissioner began accepting applications from would-be hemp farmers on Tuesday, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

Successful applicants would join members of the West Virginia Farmers Association who hold 14 licenses to farm hemp for research purposes, according to the newspaper. Those original farmers, who currently are growing 30 acres of the crop over 11 counties, now will be permitted to cultivate commercially.

Hemp plants can be converted into such products as CBD – which is legal in West Virginia – as well as food, oils and various fibers

Hemp cultivation is permitted in 31 states, including South Carolina, under the federal 2014 Farm Bill. It authorized hemp cultivation for research purposes and a select pilot programs.