Whole Leaf Tobacco
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  1. #1
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    Hard Time interpreting Virginia Law on Tobacco production and sales

    I am looking into potentially starting a small-scale tobacco farm. My plan would be to grow the tobacco on my land, cure it, process it, and then bag it with the intention of selling it as cigarette tobacco by the pound. Where I am running into confusion are the laws on private sales of tobacco in Virginia. As I understand, you can sell it if you log your sales and pay a tax on every certain number of ounces of tobacco sold. This seems quite time consuming with the constant logging of sales. If anyone has a definitive answer and explanation on the legality of tobacco sales in Virginia I would greatly appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Administrator deluxestogie's Avatar
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    Re: Hard Time interpreting Virginia Law on Tobacco production and sales

    I am not a lawyer.

    Growing tobacco in Virginia has no legal restrictions. Curing the tobacco in Virginia has no legal restrictions. With the central vein still in the leaf (that is, "whole leaf"), you can sell it as an agricultural commodity wholesale. To "process" tobacco and sell it requires a federal permit. I don't know what additional restrictions and requirements for processing and selling tobacco the Commonwealth of Virginia may add, aside from sales tax.

    Small-scale flue-curing is likely to be challenging from a profit perspective. Most small Virginia bright leaf tobacco growers (from generations of tobacco growers) have gone out of business, mostly as a result of importation of less expensive leaf from abroad.

    If you are serious about starting such a business, you should consult an attorney regarding the legal requirements, and probably an accountant to review your business plan.

    Bob

  3. #3
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    Re: Hard Time interpreting Virginia Law on Tobacco production and sales

    I think you have consulted someone and if they told you pound for pound records that is what it is. The leaf has to be exceptional quality, there needs to be a buyer lined up and it takes a year to get a leaf ready before it can be smoked.

  4. #4
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    Re: Hard Time interpreting Virginia Law on Tobacco production and sales

    Not to rain on your idea, but it's raining anyway so, most tobacco famers are dying out or having a rough time.

    It's a nice pipe dream to be sure but getting started in the business might be a big investment with a pessimistic outlook.

    Bigbonner would be a good one to pm and ask him his thoughts on it.

  5. #5
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    Re: Hard Time interpreting Virginia Law on Tobacco production and sales

    I used to grow 55 to 60 acres of tobacco . I had plenty of workers , the land , barns and equipment . Big tobacco has cut prices and pounds contracted from all farmers all across the USA and have dropped most of their contracts to farmers .
    I am one of them . My job has left for other countries to grow and profit from tobacco . In my opinion the tobacco buy out is what has destroyed USA tobacco farmers . Before the buy out tobacco companies could only import , I believe around 18% of foreign tobacco into the USA . Now they can import all the leaf or ready made products they want into the USA .

    I believe you are asking about shredded , processed tobacco . You have to get a license / permit to do that . You also need a manufacturing building with FDA inspections and the government checking up on your operation all the time . Tax stamps and a lot of other legal paperwork . You would also have to pay into the Buyout tax fund to the Feds . All tobacco sellers and warehouses has to pay into this tax every year . It is based on pounds .

    In my Opinion ,Gas prices seem to effect tobacco bought . Cheap gas ,people has more money and buys ready made tobacco . Gas gets higher then they buy Roll your own tobacco .

  6. #6
    Senior Member ChinaVoodoo's Avatar
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    Re: Hard Time interpreting Virginia Law on Tobacco production and sales

    How many workers does 50-60 acres require? Are they knowledgeable about tobacco, or do you pretty much have to train them every year?
    This blanket is a necessity. It keeps me from cracking up. It may be regarded as a spiritual tourniquet. Without it, I'd be nothing, a ship without a rudder. - Linus

  7. #7
    Administrator deluxestogie's Avatar
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    Re: Hard Time interpreting Virginia Law on Tobacco production and sales

    Quote Originally Posted by Univ. Kentucky
    Raising burley tobacco requires 200 to 225 hours of labor per acre...

    http://www.uky.edu/CommInfoStudies/I...rtstobacco.htm
    Bob

  8. #8
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    Re: Hard Time interpreting Virginia Law on Tobacco production and sales

    Quote Originally Posted by ChinaVoodoo View Post
    How many workers does 50-60 acres require? Are they knowledgeable about tobacco, or do you pretty much have to train them every year?

    12 is a good number of workers . More at times when you can find them . If each one can cut 1000 sticks (6 stalks per stick) of tobacco each day that is 10 acres cut per day .
    You can cut a couple of days and start hauling to the barn . Burley is left in the field two or three days for wilting .

    Years ago before migrant workers we had local labor who would work and they were taught at a young age to do the job right . Then year after year we had experienced workers . As years went by local workers was hard to find and migrant workers were coming in to find jobs . I had to start using migrant workers because I could not find local boys anymore to work in tobacco . And no they were not cheaper .
    I had to teach them how to plant , top , cut , load , hang it in the barns and strip the leaves off the stalk in the right color order . I always worked with them , some could keep up with me some could not .
    It was aggravating teaching them at times and some took right off .

    With my local boys during housing time , I would always feed lunch , A BIG lunch every day we worked . Home cooked .

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