Senator Mark Warner visits local hemp processing plant in Tazewell County

BLUEFIELD, VA (WOAY) – Virginia Senator Mark Warner made a trip to Tazewell County for an economic development discussion at a hemp plant.

According to A.J. Robinson, the director of communications and tourism for Tazewell County, Warner wanted to tour the facility and have an economic round table with local business leaders. 

“We just got the call on Monday that he would like to come tour the facility. So we’ve been working with this business; they’ve actually cleared out a great deal of hemp so he can come tour and do the round table here,” Robinson said.

Warner helped sponsor a provision in the 2018 Farm Bill that removed hemp from the national list of controlled substances. And since then, hemp businesses across the country have started up production. Officials say that this hemp business and many others have been a staple of the economic development happening in the county. 

“We’re always happy when anyone’s interested to come visit Tazewell County and come see what we’re doing here. We’ve got a lot of great opportunities in economic development happening, so we’re always pleased to see anyone that takes an interest in that.”

Warner met with roughly a dozen local business leaders and county officials. His main goals were to view the hemp farm and learn more about the business he helped legalize in 2018, as well as hear about what local leaders need more from his office to do better in the future. 

“Southwest Virginia is coming back, roaring back. And I know we’ve all had a little bump in the road with COVID, maybe more than a little bump. Virginia’s gonna get through this, Tazewell’s gonna get through this, the county’s gonna get through this.”

Warner’s visit to Tazewell is part of a string of visits around Southwest Virginia. He later plans to stop by other towns such as Pulaski, Galax, Marion and Bristol.