Discussing the business of legalized hemp


By Kayla Hawthorne - khawthorne@aimmediamidwest.com



POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission met for its regular meeting last week with Chris Yeager of Appalachian Cannabis Company (ACC) on the agenda to speak with the commissioners about his business.

Present at the meeting were Commissioners Rick Handley, Sam Nibert and Tracy Doolittle, Clerk Diana Cromley and County Administrator Gerlach.

Yeager, a West Virginia native, moved to Colorado to study its recreational marijuana industry. In 2017, he and his family came back to West Virginia and started growing hemp, a relative to the marijuana plant, in Mason County. Hemp is legal to grow in West Virginia with a permit. ACC makes over 400 forms of CBD products from the hemp plants and sells the products in stores — located in Cross Lanes, Charleston and Morgantown. Yeager and ACC have a medical advisor, who says that studies show CBD and hemp are not addictive and can be used instead of opioids and to get people off addictive pain killers. Yeager said he had two family members die because of opiates and suboxone, which are both addictive drugs.

The Mason County Health Department Board attended the meeting to hear what Yeager had to say. Members of the board said they did not know much about hemp and CBD for medical use and they would need to educate themselves more. Yeager said some CBD products would cause a person to fail a drug test, but some would not. Hemp and CBD are not federally regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The industrial hemp growing is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In other businses:

Commissioners approved minutes from the previous meetings and corrections of erroneous assessments.

Cromley named the republican and democratic ballot commissioner nominees as Cary Supple (R) and Nic Dalton (D). These nominees proof the ballot, help on election night and advise Cromley’s office various issues.

Commissioners signed the agreement with the tax attorney.

Gerlach brought the commissioners information about bringing the EMS workers into the retirement system. No decision was made.

Commissioners motioned to move forward with re-coating the roof on the Letart Community Center for $4,950.

Commissioners reviewed the grant budget for the solid waste authority. The grant budget that was approved was for $95,874. Nibert asked Gerlach to fill the litter control officer position. The position is part time, on an as-needed basis with a maximum payment of $3,000.

Commissioners signed a letter for the department of highways to regulate a salvage yard license in Mason County.

An agreement between Mason County Schools and the county was made to allow anyone to use the ball fields in Hartford and Mason.

Handley updated everyone on the Tri River Transit bus system in Mason County. They are looking for a new driver. Applications can be picked up at the Mason County Commission office.

The next Mason County Commissioners meeting will be Feb. 6 at 4 p.m.

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By Kayla Hawthorne

khawthorne@aimmediamidwest.com

Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.

Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.