Albany, NY –Agriculture Chairs Assemblymember Donna Lupardo and Senator Michelle Hinchey announced passage of legislation they introduced to promote greater use of NY grown industrial hemp. A9282/S8496 directs the Commissioner of Ag & Markets to work with the Urban Development Corporation, the NYS Hemp Workgroup, and representatives of relevant industries, to develop and promote the use of industrial hemp in their products. This includes uses such as hemp grain, packaging, textiles, animal bedding, and construction materials like hempcrete. The bill awaits action by Governor Hochul.
New York is a leader in the cultivation and processing of hemp, especially cannabinoid hemp. While the industrial market for hemp is still developing, the state needs to take a more active role in researching, identifying, and promoting hemp uses to a broader group of industries. For example, as the market for sustainable, biodegradable, non-petroleum-based packaging grows, so do the opportunities for industrial hemp to be used as an ingredient in these products. The goal is to work with growers, processors and businesses to expand various market opportunities.
Assembly Agriculture Chair Donna Lupardo said, “We are just beginning to explore the thousands of uses for industrial hemp. While early hemp farmers were drawn to the type of hemp grown for cannabidiol (CBD), there are many other strains and uses being studied by Cornell University, SUNY Morrisville, Rensselaer Polytechnic, and others. This work has dramatically expanded our understanding of what the hemp plant can do. But in order for farmers to be successful, a market needs to be developed that can tap into consumer demand for more eco-friendly products.”
Senate Agriculture Chair Michelle Hinchey said, “From paper to biodegradable plastics, hemp offers an unprecedented chance to revolutionize New York’s industrial systems in a way that will help us fight the climate crisis and create extraordinary economic opportunities for local farmers and our state at large. Through our legislation, which encourages greater state attention and strategic collaborations within this emerging market, we can help unleash the environmental and economic potential of the industrial hemp industry in New York.”
Allan Gandelman, New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association President said, “The New York Cannabis Growers & Processors Association applauds Assemblymember Lupardo and Senator Hinchey for their commitment to growing and improving New York’s leading hemp industry. While New York’s nascent hemp sector is already exemplary in many ways, the state needs to continue taking an active role in unlocking the full potential of industrial hemp and this legislation is a wonderful starting point that encourages collaboration with local growers, processors, and businesses that will directly benefit from an expanded industry.”