Key Players in West Virginia's Legalization of Industrial Hemp Farming

Several states have begun legalizing industrial hemp, with the federal government partially legalizing hemp production with the 2014 Farm Bill. West Virginia is one of many states that have worked toward legalizing hemp, with the following people and organizations playing important roles.

1. Del. Mike Manypenny 
Delegate Mike Manypenny was the primary sponsor of House Bill 3011, also known as the Hemp Bill, which paved the way for industrial hemp farming in West Virginia. Shortly after the bill became law in 2014, Manypenny was quoted by MetroNews as saying "I see the value of this crop that is something that could turn agriculture around in West Virginia and make it one of the most profitable industries that we have."

Like other lawmakers who have promoted legalizing hemp, Manypenny emphasized the difference between hemp and marijuana, saying "It would take somebody a wheelbarrow full or more to get any psychoactive effect...

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