There are numerous businesses in Virginia that are utilizing hemp. For example, Old Dominion Hemp out of Charlottesville has to import hemp from Europe for its animal bedding business. Old Dominion Hemp owner Marty Phipps said if he were able to get hemp locally, it would not only help his business, but provide more business opportunities in the Commonwealth.
In North America, 80,000 acres of hemp are grown — only 10,000 of that is in the U.S. Compare that to 190,000 million acres of corn and soybeans, Phipps said.
“This is an industry in its infancy,” Phipps said. “Every single part of this provides a revenue path — biofuels, energy, food, clothing.”
Only time will tell, which is why the research portion is valuable. Jason Amatucci, founder of the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition, thinks it will take time for the industry to catch on, but things are at a standstill until legislation changes.