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Hemp Picks offers education, retail at Point Park Marketplace

Staff reports

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — The Point Park Marketplace, 113 Ann St., has a new business involving industrial hemp that set up shop on April 20 in downtown Parkersburg.

Robby Kerr and J. Morgan Leach describe themselves as passionate entrepreneurs who launched Hemp Picks to educate local residents about industrial hemp.

Robby Kerr inside the new business Hemp Picks LLC at the Point Park Marketplace in Parkersburg.
(Submitted photo)

They plan to demonstrate the industrial value of a once standard and vital crop in this country, Kerr said.

Hemp Picks will provide a venue for those interested in hemp to shop for sustainable products or learn more about growing industrial hemp in West Virginia.

Studying cannabis industries and assisting a variety of businesses, Kerr believes he is knowledgeable about what this new industry can offer West Virginia.

“There is an educational gap in the distinction between hemp and marijuana,” Kerr said, “and I enjoy showing the variety of sustainable products being developed for everyday use. People are shocked that such a valuable and versatile crop (hemp) was prohibited during a majority of the 20th century.”

The Point Park Marketplace, near the floodwall opening, is fostering a festive environment for Parkersburg, Kerr believes, and the interest in hemp is growing for the area.

The store offers art, educational materials, soap, musical instruments and accessories, foods, clothing, bags, tinctures, and lotions.

For more information, visit the company’s website at or email [email protected].

Leach, of Vienna, is executive director of The West Virginia Hemp Industries Association.

He spent about 12 days during the recent legislative session speaking to state legislators in Charleston about the importance of growing industrial hemp businesses to help the state’s economy.

The WVHIA is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit trade association that represents farmers, businesses, researchers and investors working with industrial hemp in West Virginia.

Industrial hemp became legal last year for cultivation, research and marketing purposes in West Virginia. Three locations in Wood County have been approved for growing industrial hemp out of the 22 licenses issued by the state for 2017, Leach said, including property his family owns.

Leach noted that Gov. Jim Justice signed House Bill 2453, which expands the list of persons the state Commissioner of Agriculture can license to grow or cultivate industrial hemp.

“This is a very good thing,” Leach said about the governor signing House Bill 2453. “It is a major win,” Leach said, adding it will enhance the industrial hemp program.

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