You can’t make money growing hemp in Virginia. Literally, even though the plant is legal.
Virginia bans farmers from selling the crop commercially and limits hemp production to a handful of university research projects.
If that strikes you as odd for a state with centuries of experience growing hemp, you’re not alone.
Even Virginia’s top agriculture official has vowed to boost Virginia’s hemp market by pushing legislation to allow farmers to sell hemp and businesses to process the plant.
Virginia reported less than 100 acres growing hemp in 2017, and just 33 licensed growers, all growing the crop on behalf of university research.
“If anyone is growing hemp commercially in Virginia, they’re doing so illegally,” said Elaine Lidholm of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees hemp.
But hemp investors and entrepreneurs shouldn’t write off Virginia.
The state’s climate, soil and manufacturing infrastructure show