August 22, 2016
ALBANY, NY – Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R, Big Flats) and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell), that allows the transportation, processing, sale, and distribution of hemp, that is grown as part of the State’s research pilot program. It also authorizes universities, including Cornell University, and partner farmers to study and establish business and economic opportunities that will lay the groundwork for a fully-fledged agricultural industry once the crop is fully legalized by the federal government.
“This new law significantly strengthens the foundation Assemblywoman Lupardo and I have been building over the past few years to place New York State at the forefront of a new industry with the potential to diversify our agricultural economy, generate revenue and create jobs. We’re moving forward to ensure that the development and growth of the industrial hemp industry will provide valuable new economic opportunities and a competitive edge for Southern Tier and Finger Lakes farmers and agribusinesses, together with the state’s agricultural industry overall,” said Senator O’Mara.
Lupardo said, “New York’s industrial hemp program is off to a tremendous start. Seeds were planted in July and plants that are harvested this fall will now be able to be processed and sold as a result of this legislation. Industrial hemp will benefit not only local agriculture, but has the potential for numerous manufacturing opportunities in the Southern Tier and throughout the state.”
The lawmakers noted that the New York Farm Bureau, Cornell University researchers and other agricultural leaders and farm advocates recognize industrial hemp as a potentially lucrative way to provide new economic opportunities and a competitive edge for state farmers.