CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – The House convened Friday for one of the final days of the current Legislative session to discuss multiple bills.
Among these was Senate Bill 220, which saw its third reading Friday, and relates to the Industrial Hemp Development Act.
The bill was first introduced in the Senate on January 13, 2023, passing unanimously through the Senate last Wednesday and seeing introduction in the House the following day.
Delegate Capito (R-Kanawha, 055) explained amendments to the bill, which were said to be technical in nature.
“Instead of an exhausting explanation of the strike and insert, really the changes here were requested to us by the Department of Agriculture to be more consistent with the regulatory authority they currently have over this product,” said Delegate Capito on Friday.
He continued, explaining that products such a clothing and accessories containing hemp would not pose a threat to the health and safety of consumers – particularly those under the age of 21 – and thus would not require stringent regulation in the same way as certain THC products.
“It begins with the proviso and discusses that the provisions of this section, which means the regulation of certain hemp products, would not preclude those that are 21 years that are younger than the age of 21 years to purchase or sell these products commonly, and these are products without THC in them and commonly these are jackets, flip flops, sweatshirts, a lot of clothing that has pieces of the hemp stem in it,” he said, pointing out the wide range of products which would fall under the bill without the insertion of such a distinction.
“When we were going through, we realized that there were so many products that would fall under this very broad bill that we did. So we’re exempting out of this bill outside of the regulatory capture of this act, products which contain no THC, most of which come from the stems of these plants and again are no danger to to the health, safety and well-being of of West Virginians.”
Senate Bill 220 passed through the House with amendments by a substantial margin, drawing 92 yeas and 4 nays, with 4 Delegates counted absent for the vote.
Additional Legislative coverage from LOOTPRESS can be found here.