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Carlos Gracia

New York Gov. Signs Hemp Bill, First Farm Licensed

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill authorizing the sale, distribution, transportation, and processing of industrial hemp, which aims to help farmers in the state develop a new marketable crop.

JD Farms in Madison County is the first, and currently only, farm licensed by the state to grow hemp, WGRZ 2 reports. It has partnered with Morrisville State College in the development process and will grow the crop on 30 acres.

“This bill makes it possible for us to negotiate price-points with interested buyers and produce statistically relevant data about the current state of the market for other farmers and institutions interested in participating in the program,” Dan Dolgin, co-owner of JD Farms, said in a statement.

According to the bill text, no more than 10 farms will be granted licenses under the program which will be supervised by the Commissioner of Economic Development, a position currently held by Howard Zemsky. The commissioner will issue a report to legislative leaders on the progress of the industry in 2018.

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo anticipates the crop — which hasn’t been grown in the state in 80 years — will be a boon to farmers and “has the potential for numerous manufacturing opportunities” throughout the state.

The federal government approved a similar plan in 2013.

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