On January 26, 2016, the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill (HB699) to authorize the farming and production of industrial hemp in the state for commercial purposes with a 98-0 vote. Once passed into state law, Virginia would be able to authorize commercial farming and production, thereby setting the foundation to nullify in practice the federal prohibition on hemp, an economically viable and sustainable plant.
If HB699 is passed into law, Virginia would have followed the lead of states such as Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina, Connecticut, Maine, North Dakota and Vermont. HB699 now moves to the House floor. It will need to pass by a majority vote to move on to the Senate.