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West Virginia Department of Agriculture revising hemp sampling protocols

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Dear Kent Leonhardt,

The West Virginia Hemp Industries Association (WVHIA) is proud to represent the most exciting agricultural industry of our time. Your administration has helped to open the door to an entirely new plant industry that will help to diversify our economy and improve our annual farm revenues. We applaud your victories under the pressure of our U.S. Attorney and praise your support of the farmers who are courageously venturing into this brave new world. However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that our farmers will be protected and profitable over this critical time as we fight to gain a foothold in the global hemp industry.

To ensure that the investments made in hemp production and processing in West Virginia are not threatened by overly-restrictive regulations we need to have a conversation about the hemp sampling protocols for THC compliance. Our state’s hemp farmers are gravely concerned with the sampling methods that have been adopted by the WVDA Plant Industries Division. My intention is to quickly brief you of the problem with your administration's current sampling methodology and also provide a solution that will ensure compliance with federal law while putting our farmers at ease about their crop sampling this year.

Problem: The current sampling methodology does not distinguish between intact flowers and whole plant ground biomass. These are two distinct markets for these products and the sampling protocols need to fairly accommodate each harvesting practice.

Solution: Adopt the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s sampling protocols to ensure that farmers who grow for the intact flower and biomass markets are fairly tested for compliance with federal THC standards.

Please reference the attached “Procedures for Sampling, THC Testing, and Post-Testing Actions[1] from Ryan F. Quarles, Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture. This document clearly and fairly addresses the concerns our farmers have with the sampling protocols for the intact flower and whole plant ground biomass markets, as well as the acceptable THC threshold. We are requesting that you to direct the Plant Industries Division to adopt similar sampling protocols. Without these critical changes, the current sampling system will surely fail our farmers and millions of vested dollars in our state’s agricultural economy will be lost. In addition, we are also advocating for utilization of WVU Extension Services agents to aide the department in conducting the sampling so that our farmres can rely on a timely sampling and test result.

We thank you for your time and attention to this very important and urgent matter. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any assistance that you may require in this request.

Very truly yours,

J. Morgan Leach

WVHIA President

(304) 834 - 2822


Marc Dunbar

WVHIA Executive Director

[1] Hemp Program Procedures for Sampling, THC Testing, and Post-Testing Actions

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