A local delegate, is backing a bill to legalize industrial hemp production in Virginia. House Bill 1277, seeks to take advantage of a new federal provision allowing states to set up pilot programs to grow hemp and research its potential as a commercial product. Del. Matt Fariss of Rustburg is one of three Republicans and four Democrats that have lent their names to the bill. The News & Advance reports, nationally 19 states have put similar laws on the books. HB1277 will be considered in the 2015 General Assembly session that convenes Jan.14. If passed, the bill will require hemp producers be licensed and regulated by the state.