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Hemp History Week Celebrated at WVU

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Jesse Wright
/
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture took a step toward cultivating Industrial Hemp production in West Virginia last week. The department posted an application “For Research and Marketing Cultivation of Industrial Hemp” which would allow growers and entrepreneurs to register industrial hemp businesses with the state, under a pilot program.

The idea is catching on in Morgantown.

The West Virginia Hemp Farmers Cooperative and a new student group gathered at West Virginia University to spread awareness about Industrial Hemp. 

“Our main goals are education, outreach and networking,” said  Morgan Leach who organized Hemp History Week at WVU. He’s a law student at the university who works with the West Virginia Hemp Farmers Cooperative and recently started a student organization called the WV Hempsters.

Leach is reaching out to students, faculty and community members with sample products and information about what industrial hemp is, and how it could benefit West Virginia’s economy.

“From some limited research that we have through the West Virginia Extensions, they project that hemp can provide up to $400 an acre for farmers,” he said.

Leach also told students and passers-by about how hemp can be used for building materials such as hemp concrete and fiber boards. The only thing it seems you can’t do with it is smoke it. Industrial hemp by definition contains less than one percent of the psychoactive chemical THC found in Marijuana.

Leach and his friends are also urging state and federal lawmakers to remove barriers for hemp farming in West Virginia. 


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