Bill Introduced to Allow Industrial Hemp to Be Grown in New York
Two southern tier State lawmakers have proposed a bill that would allow New York farmers to grow industrial hemp.
Democratic Assembly Woman Donna Lupardo and Republican State Senator Tom O'Mara have introduced a bill that would allow farmers to grow hemp. Hemp is used to make fabric, rope, paper, oil, soap, lotion and food around the world.
A provision of the new U.S. Farm Bill legalized the growth of hemp for research.
The substance had previously been banned because it comes from the same plant as marijuana, however industrial hemp and marijuana are genetically different and it is not possible to extract a drug from hemp.
Lupardo says “Hemp has the potential to be a new opportunity for our emerging agricultural industry. Both its stalk and seed can be used for textiles, building materials, paper, food and environmental products like biofuels.”
In 2012, retail sales from imported hemp products were estimated at $500 million. The New York Farm Bureau said the new bill would position the state as a leader in hemp production.
If approved by the legislature, hemp production for research could begin immediately, Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is a potential candidate to participate in the pilot production program.
If the legislation passes, New York would become the 11th state in the country to produce hemp.