CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin allowed several bills to become law this week without signing them. One of those is HB 3011, also known as the Hemp Bill.

Taylor County Delegate Mike Manypenny was the main sponsor, of the legislation.

“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,” Del. Manypenny said.

Manypenny is talking about industrial hemp. In the federal Farm Bill, passed last fall, Congress gave each state the ability to regulate the crop. Manypenny stressed this is in no way is connected to growing medicinal marijuana.

“It would take somebody a wheelbarrow full or more to get any psychoactive effect from it,” he explained.

Industrial hemp could be a major moneymaker according to the delegate.

“Hempseed oil, for highly refined oil, is going for $60-$70 a gallon on the internet,” said Manypenny.

Hempseed oil is often used in body care products, lubricants, paints, inks and plastics.

Manypenny said once the oil has been squeezed out the leftover seed has countless uses.

“The expelled seed could be used as hemp flour. It can be used an animal feed. Then the industrial fiber can be used for numerous things such as cloth, fiber for ropes, for building materials such as wood,” according to Manypenny.

Hemp fibers can be pressed into wood pellets for bio-fuel.

Manypenny believes growing hemp here in West Virginia is an economic game-changer.

“All of the industrial hemp we use in America is imported from China and Canada,” he said. “We should be producing jobs in West Virginia growing industrial hemp.”

Both WVU and West Virginia State University are looking at hemp research to find other uses for the plant.

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  • starkwood

    Fracking has been studied to death. It has little impact, if any at all, on ground water since it takes place about 4-5000 feet BELOW the level at which most, if not all, our water is drawn from. The claims that it is damaging the ground water are totally bogus. Those of you who are anti-progress at every turn don't begin to understand that the earth is a self-renewing and self-mending system created by God for the use of mankind to improve our lives. We should be good stewards, but to determine that animals and natural resources are never to be touched by mankind and no benefit to mankind should be derived from the abundance of natural resources available is the religion of secular humanism and atheism. It is really about control of people. Those of you who want nature to be off-limits to humans are worshipers of the UN Agenda 21 agenda which clearly states that it is not so much about sustaining the environment as it is about redistribution of wealth through the eventual confiscation of private property. Get a life of your own and leave others to enjoy their property. If that means they drill a hole and get the resources, so be it. Too bad.

  • griff

    maybe the heroin users will commit suicide with the hemp ropes

  • Winkin'Sun

    For anyone who continues to think along the lines of the propaganda that's been spewed for the last 50 years,and that this is not a viable "Job Creator."
    Here's some realistic "Fact based" things to consider:
    #1 2013 Annual Retail Sales for Hemp Products Exceeds $581 Million
    Hemp Retail Market in U.S. Achieves 24% Growth in 2013

    Do you prefer the other 9 states(and more coming) to beat West Virginia's opportunity to be a leader? Fortunately, there are rational minds debating this in legislature now.
    Hint: Vote logically, not emotionally.

    Best Regards to all. :)



  • Faar Out

    Are some implying that hemp rope is preferable to the nylon and polypropylene ropes of today? I'm doubtful that there would be a market for hemp rope, especially since it would likely be more expensive to manufacture and be inferior for almost all purposes that require strength and longevity. As an afterthought, hemp twine might be useful to tie up the butcher paper the butcher uses to wrap our meat...and, a few of our favorite things "brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String".

  • thornton

    Not sure on the actual hemp economics but the delegate did mention in Hoppy's interview that the growing of hemp would reduce clearcutting of the forests.

    Which is wrong and gives the implication that a clearcut is, it shows a definite pandering to the misinformed folks re the true value of a diverse age class in a forest eco-system.
    So, it does make me wonder where else he is wrong in theory and also the worth of his data.

    Pandering politicos are a dime a dozen and are part of the reason we continue to face the same economic issues or special-interest demands in WV.
    Perhaps, if he learned more then he would come an interview.
    Or, maybe he could find some way to simply...relax.

  • NewGirl

    “It would take somebody a wheelbarrow full or more to get any psychoactive effect from it,” he explained.

    So would a field or crop be larger than a wheelbarrow?? Hmmmm Are we already seeing brush fires in this area??? YES!

    And this will be manipulated down the line.

  • Chris

    @ Jennifer Smith:

    Nice article but it would be helpful to have some actual details from the bill. Can just anyone grow it? WIll the state be regulating it? Is their a limit to how much one can grow? Permits? etc..

    Hopefully it is open to all to grow hemp but the devil will be in the details as usual.


  • Ronin

    Spent about 18 month fighting fracking in the Huerfano's in Colorado, during which time I was able to add to my already decent background in chemistry and biology with newer information, none of which redeemed the practice in my eyes or those of the farmers trying to save their land and crops.

    So YES, my little conservative buddy, I DO understand F-R-A-C-K-I-N-G, but thanks for your demonstration of bashing someone or something YOU don't understand TO DEFEND SOMETHING YOU CAN'T SPELL.

  • Ronin

    Since poppies are used to manufacture heroin, and hemp is used to manufacture rope, what is the connection, aside from your obvious inbreeding and ignorance?

  • Shadow

    The old strip mine levels grew clover six foot tall.

  • fred

    First, I am all for West Virginia or any state to grow industrial hemp. Maybe my good state of Virginia will eventually catch on (most likely after the train has pulled out of the station and we are on the tail end).

    I handcraft soap products and am looking forward to being able to purchase affordable hemp oil. Please forward this email on to Taylor County Delegate Mike Manypenny. I applaud his efforts.

    As of today at soaperschoice.comHemp Oil;

    Refined Expeller Pressed **Out of Stock ** (5.24 per pound)
    7/lb. Plastic Bottle
    $36.68 (GAL)


    Fight for the Right to Grow Hemp
    Though many confuse hemp with its more sinister relative marijuana, hemp has only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the hallucinogenic drug that makes marijuana illegal to grow and smoke. Hemp seed is used to make a variety of nutritional food products, while the plant's fibers are used in everything from car parts to construction materials, according to Adam Eidinger, communications director for Vote Hemp, a nonprofit organization that promotes a free market for hemp.

    At least one of the barriers to hemp biodiesel could potentially be reduced if farmers in the United States were able to grow it, thereby increasing production numbers overall. Rather than fearing the competition for Canadian farmers, Though the hemp debate is over in Canada, the crop still has a connection to marijuana in the minds of many in the United States. If hemp production was allowed in the United States, the unfair stigma directed toward the crop would dissipate. That would be good for the whole industry. "It would help regularize hemp in America, and help to increase markets,"

    Cold pressing of hemp seeds yields over 300 gallons of oil and 6,000 pounds of
    high protein hemp meal. That is 6 barrels of oil produced per acre, which is
    extremely healthy while fresh, and 3 tons of high protein food per acre. This
    oil production rate is three times more productive than the next most
    productive seed oil crops: soybeans, sunflower seeds and canola/rapeseed, which
    produce 100 to 115 gallons of oil per acre. Hemp seed oil will be the most
    productive source of biodiesel fuel when legalized, and it is also a nontoxic
    resource for plastics and many other synthesized products.

    Per acre, hemp is the most productive fiber on earth, making 10 tons of bast
    fiber, for canvas, rope, lace and linen, and 25 tons of hurd fiber, for paper
    and building materials. Hemp stalks produce two types of fiber, the bast fiber,
    or the outer bark, and the hurd fiber, or the inner woody core of the stalk.

    The US Department of Agriculture’s own Bulletin No. 404 said that the waste
    product from making canvas, rope and linen from cannabis hemp bast fiber, this
    waste product, the hurd fiber, is more than 4 times more productive than trees
    for fiber production for paper and building materials. The USDA produced a
    movie during WWII called “Hemp for Victory” that promoted hemp farming for the
    war effort, and it is available online for free on YouTube and …

  • Helen

    Great idea. Could it grow on mountaintop removal sites?

  • chef camille

    We used to grow this during the civil war to make rope. There are places in the state that still has wild hemp growing from these plots. I do not know about a game changer. It's not like if it was a cash crop Iowa, Indiana and Ohio would nor be growing this.

  • chef camille

    We used to grow this during the civil war to make rope. There are places in the state that still has wild hemp growing from these plots. I do not know about a game changer. It's not like if it was a cash crop Iowa, I

  • Mason County Contrarian

    The late, great George Carlin once said about King Cole (Coal):

    "Old King Cole was a merry old soul
    and a merry old soul was he...
    he'd call for his pipe,
    he'd call for his bowl....
    I guess we all know about Old King Cole."

  • Diversity of Products

    Excellent idea. We won't have to import it anymore. What a cost savings and we could reduce the criminal trade deficit at the same time.

  • Jimmy Slade

    Variants in IQ can be measured be just reading comments on this time

  • Jack Hartwell

    Just read a piece on using hemp protein and hemp oil to fight a number of serious diseases including cancer. Look at RickSimpson; Big Pharma has to be all over this. Not hearing anything yet from MSM? Where you at boys and girls?
    Health Freedom Alliance to purchase oil, gum and topical products for now. Soon to be on many websites.

  • Gene Fowler Jr

    I think we should have done this a long time ago.

  • Michael

    Very good idea.

  • Good Move

    We need more politicians like Delegate Manypenny who at least make a move to better West Virginia in a positive manor that does not destroy our mountains and rivers. Clothing from hemp last far longer than cotton products, a food source, clean energy , rope, paper and many other products can be derived from hemp.

  • leroy j dopehead

    we should also grow poppies, i hear in afghanistan it works well, how is that for thinking outside the box!

  • Shannon Westerman

    This what I call a politician who is thinking outside the box to help our state diversify moving into the future.

    Thank you Mike.

  • Winkin'Sun

    Amongst 25,000 other products which can be manufactured from hemp...Let's not discount the benefit of using it for remediation as well...Lord knows there are plenty of sites in WV that can use a good "Soil cleaning.

    "Phytoremediation is the environmentally friendly science of using plants and trees to remove heavy metals and other toxins from contaminated soil. By planting specific plants and trees, called hyper-accumulators, in polluted areas, the contaminants can be reduced."


  • Fiscal Conservative

    Do you even understand the concept of fraccing. Or do you just like to bash something you don't understand?

  • Mason County Contrarian

    Wait.....wait.....don't tell me....don't tell me....yet another "game changer", right?

  • wvrefugee

    Hey, what about King Coal???????

  • Beach

    Delegate hits the mark, however I would argue that it would require vastly more than a wheelbarrow for any psychoactive effect.

    Most likely in the beginning industrial hemp would be nothing more then a cottage industry until such time that a commercial rendering facility could be economically viable.

  • yoe

    God bless hemp industrial , I love this country and in special arizonians

  • Ronin

    But how will we grow industrial hemp, when the water in our rivers and streams is first pumped away to use in fracking operations, and then returned to the source filled with pollutants that kill animals and plants? Why focus on leasing away those rights and resources instead of supporting research and creating jobs in this industry?

    Is it possible that all of the pro-hemp/cannabis dogma and environmental "activism" (which amounts to little more than talk, with no details offered) is just a way to ease gas and oil into public lands while looking as if legislators are trying to respond to the wishes of the citizens and safeguard the environment?

  • Jason

    WV needs to do something to bring out of state dollars that border states have opened up casinos, that cash cow has went out to pasture. Creative thinkers and entrepreneurs need to develop and implement new idea's and get the infrastructure down before everybody else figures out it is a good idea and beats WV to the punch...for once.