New York’s hemp research program is expanding to more than 3,500 acres throughout nine regions in the state following a $650,000 earmark in the state budget for a hemp processing plant and $2 million for a state-run hemp seed certification program.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced more than 60 new farms and businesses have received hemp research permits under the state’s Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot program. Another 18 companies have registered to process the crops.

“There is a renewed interest in industrial hemp production and processing throughout the country, and with our strong grower community and innovative researchers, New York is in a great position to lead. By providing an alternative crop for our farmers, industrial hemp has the potential to change the landscape of our agricultural economy, create jobs and drive growth across the Southern Tier and throughout New York.” – Cuomo in a press release

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets Division of Plant Industry will now accept applications for proposed hemp research in food and fiber on a continuous basis. Last year, Cuomo announced a $5 million Industrial Hemp Processors Grant Fund.

In 2017, there were 2,000 acres of hemp cultivated under the state program. Nationally, industrial hemp generates about $600 million-per-year in sales of consumer, industrial, and medical products.

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