As part of this effort, they will have to deliberate on how best to bridge the legal and logistical issues of how it should be made available and administered, with the former offering a true economic opportunity.
West Virginia's climate and topography have long been regarded as ideal for cultivation and history supports the claim.
In the years leading up to World War I, industrial hemp production along the Potomac River was accelerated as part of the nation's war effort and legacy varieties later proved to be highly prolific when periodic flooding redistributed seeds downstream.
Absent the psychoactive properties of medical marijuana, hemp has for decades proven resistant to law enforcement's costly eradication efforts as recounted in a New York Times article on Hardy County in 1991.
Indeed, the crop's resilient and aggressive nature lends itself to large-scale industrial hemp production on mountaintop removal sites and is also touted for its market potential based on a wide variety of downstream consumer products.
If West Virginia were to legalize both medical marijuana and hemp production in the same legislation, lawmakers could overnight partially legitimize what is most certainly the state's largest cash crop.
It could create a new tax revenue source dedicated to law enforcement's fledgling battle on hard drugs where an epidemic has created ever-increasing societal costs for us all.
And by doing so, lawmakers could take a giant step toward diversify the state's economy through a new biodiverse and sustainable industry based on best practices.
Swint, of Charleston, is a commercial property broker and political activist.