New York wants to be the nation’s leader in hemp production

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In New York, new legislation was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that removes legal obstacles impeding access to hemp seed in a bid to streamline research and farming opportunities. With a goal of being the nation’s leader in hemp production, Cuomo sees hemp as a commodity with the potential to boost job growth in agriculture and manufacturing.

The bill classifies industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity and creates a working group to advise the state on research and policies concerning a plant that is of the same genus and species as marijuana but contains only trace amounts of the psychoactive chemical THC.

Cuomo committed $5 million in state funding to support research into the production of industrial hemp, with $1 million to immediately fund an ongoing partnership between the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, SUNY Morrisville, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and Empire State Development.