Gov. Cuomo has announced that he has signed a bill into law that clarifies the status of industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity in the state and creates an industrial hemp working group to advise the State on research and policies concerning the crop. The state will also make $10 million in grants available to advance industrial hemp research and economic development opportunities for industrial hemp businesses.

Gov. Cuomo said:

“By expanding industrial hemp research and development for both farms and businesses, New York is embracing our legacy of innovation to lead the way on this economic engine that will create jobs from the field to the factory.  Industrial hemp is a promising commodity that, with the necessary support and resources, can provide a tremendous boost to our communities by increasing the profitability of our farms, creating new jobs in Upstate New York, and laying the groundwork for future growth.”

We are very supportive of this initiative.  Industrial hemp production is an important new economic opportunities for the state’s agricultural industry. For the state’s farmers, it offers an opportunity to diversify and possibly expand their operations.  It represents that type of innovation and consideration of new opportunities that can lead to the creation of new jobs and increase farm profitability.