A. It is lawful for a person licensed pursuant to § 3.2-4115 or 3.2-4117 to cultivate, produce, or otherwise grow industrial hemp in the Commonwealth for any lawful purpose, including the manufacture of industrial hemp products or scientific, agricultural, or other research related to other lawful applications for industrial hemp. No person licensed pursuant to § 3.2-4115 or 3.2-4117 shall be prosecuted under § 18.2-247, 18.2-248, 18.2-248.01, 18.2-248.1, 18.2-250, or 18.2-250.1 for the possession, cultivation, or manufacture of industrial hemp plant material and seeds or industrial hemp products. In any complaint, information, or indictment, and in any action or proceeding brought for the enforcement of any provision of Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2 or the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.), it shall not be necessary to negate any exception, excuse, proviso, or exemption contained in this chapter or the Drug Control Act, and the burden of proof of any such exception, excuse, proviso, or exemption shall be on the defendant.
B. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize any person to violate any federal law or regulation. If any part of this chapter conflicts with a provision of federal law relating to industrial hemp that has been adopted in Virginia under this chapter, the federal provision shall control to the extent of the conflict.
C. No person shall be prosecuted under § 18.2-247, 18.2-248, 18.2-248.01, 18.2-248.1, 18.2-250, or 18.2-250.1 for the involuntary growth of industrial hemp through the inadvertent natural spread of seeds or pollen as a result of proximity to a licensed grower or a grower licensed pursuant to § 3.2-4117.
2015, cc. 158, 180; 2016, cc. 61, 170.