Posted April 24, 2014
 
New York could be the next state to approve industrial hemp cultivation under a new bill that would begin a research pilot program with state colleges and universities, and the state agriculture department, according to an article by Capital New York available here.
 
The bill, A8297-2013 was sponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo of Binghamton.   The companion bill is S5978-2013.
 
Hemp is a “variant of the cannabis plant that also produces marijuana, but has a far lower concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol.”  Lupardo said industrial hemp plants are “strictly an agricultural product with multiple uses, including as fiber, building material and as a food supplement.”
 
Industrial hemp cultivation for research was recently allowed through a provision of the recent U.S. farm bill, signed into law on Feb. 7, according to a WBNG article available here.
 
Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is a potential candidate for the pilot program, if the bill is approved.
 
“Industrial hemp is an excellent candidate from a biomass standpoint, with high yield as well as multiple potential value-added users,” said Jerry Cherney, Professor of Agriculture at Cornell.  “Alternative markets allow farmers to minimize their risk and maximize profits.”

 

For more information, a recent report on hemp as an agricultural commodity from the Congressional Research Service is available on the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.