Outdoor industrial hemp plants with a blue sky background.

Martin Abegglen

Governor-Backed Hemp Bill Introduced in New York

At the behest of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a bill that would treat hemp more like other agricultural products has been introduced in New York. The measure would allow industrial hemp seed to be considered an acceptable crop seed so long as it doesn’t contain more than .3 percent THC – the allowable federal limit for hemp. The legislation would also permit industrial hemp research and hemp companies to be considered for business funding by the state’s economic development arm.

‎”Industrial hemp has proven its potential, especially in the Southern Tier, and this legislation removes artificial barriers for growth,” the Democratic governor said in a Democrat & Chronicle report.

In 2014, the legislature approved a measure allowing 10 licensees to cultivate and research hemp in partnership with state colleges and universities. Earlier this year, the license cap was removed and private organizations were permitted to research the product on their own.

“It brings the state’s economic development and agricultural resources together to ensure the highest quality seeds are planted, the best practices are followed, and the financial supports are in place for New York to lead the way,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, a Democrat who sponsored the previous hemp bills in the state and is championing the measure in the Assembly.

The measure is sponsored in the Senate by Republican Sen. Thomas O’Mara.

New York’s legislative session is set to end on Wednesday, and lawmakers could choose to vote on the measure, which is currently in each chamber’s Agriculture Committee, before the recess. The act would take effect immediately after its passage.


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