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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  • 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

  • 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!

    • 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?

      • griff

        maybe the heroin users will commit suicide with the hemp ropes

    • 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

  • 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."


  • Mason County Contrarian

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

  • wvrefugee

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

    • 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."

  • 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?

    • 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.

    • Fiscal Conservative

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

      • 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.

  • 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.