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The governor of Virginia has signed into law a bill this week that will legalize the industrial production of hemp in the state.

Governor Terry McAuliffe signed the bill to the approval of the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition (VIHC), which has lobbied for such legislation for years.

The bill, which will go into effect on July 1st, will allow people to produce hemp and hemp products industrially in Virginia.

Jason Amatucci, speaking on behalf of the VIHC, said:

“This is going to open up our farmers to that global market, and it’s experiencing double digit growth as well because of the great reasons of the nutritious seed. BMW has it [in] their cars, a lot of people don’t realize that. They’re looking at putting manufacturing plants here in Virginia already.”

According to the VIHC, the United States is currently the biggest importer of hemp products. Homegrown hemp thus stands to increase the country’s security and create domestic jobs.

Hemp was banned in the United States in 1970 under the Controlled Substances Act, and remains illegal to grow in most states. It is legal in France, Canada, and various other countries.

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