New York Gov. Hochul signs legislation to expand industrial hemp

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation into law Tuesday aimed at expanding the state’s industrial hemp industry.

The legislation, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Michelle Hinchey, aims to “encourage greater use of New York-grown industrial hemp by New York State businesses” and “instructions the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets in cooperation with the Urban development company, the [New York State] Hemp Workgroup and industry representatives to develop a plan to expand the market opportunity for industrial hemp that would increase its use in manufacturing and construction materials, including packaging, textiles and hempcrete.”

“Hemp is the material of the future, and positioning New York as the leading producer of the world’s industrial hemp supply is a winning strategy to combat the climate crisis, foster large-scale economic development in New York’s rural communities, and create new revenue streams around our farmers.” into a better financial position,” Hinchey said in a statement Tuesday. “I am proud that my Hemp Act has gone into effect directing our state to seek strategic collaborations to help us usher in a new era of manufacturing power, product development and rural economic development in an industry that is nearly untapped worldwide.” is world.”

Industrial hemp was legalized at the federal level in 2018 when Congress passed an agriculture bill that opened the door for states to allow its cultivation.

Heads of state have since busily enacted their own laws and regulations governing hemp production, capitalizing on a burgeoning new industry.

In New York, hemp farmers were able to get on the ground floor of another cash crop after Hochul signed into law in February allowing them to apply for conditional licenses to grow marijuana, which the state legalized for recreational use and sale in 2021.

“I’m proud to be signing this law, empowering New York farmers to be the first to grow cannabis and to power the safe, just and inclusive new industry we are building,” said Hochul at the time. “New York State will continue to lead in fulfilling our commitment to bring economic opportunity and growth to every New Yorker, in every corner of our great state.”

Hinchey also celebrated the signing of this bill.

“Today is an exciting day in New York as our bill designed to give New York farmers the ability to launch the cannabis market goes into effect. That [new marijuana law] Lay the foundation for our state to build a truly circular cannabis economy that puts New York City farmers and small commercial dispensaries at the center of growth and production, and with the signing of this bill, farmers can now put seeds into the ground to ensure that we meet the demand of this emerging industry. I thank Gov. Hochul for her swift action on this bill so we can get down to work building the most forward-thinking and socially equitable cannabis industry in the country,” Hinchey said in a statement at the time.

Adult cannabis market in New York

Since taking over from former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August 2021, Hochul has been busy getting the state’s new adult-use cannabis industry up and running.

Hochul, who won her first election as incumbent governor in last month’s midterm elections, said in October that she expects the first regulated marijuana distributors to open their doors to customers by the end of the year.

“We expect the first 20 pharmacies to open by the end of this year,” the Democratic governor said at the time. “And then about 20 more every month. So we’re not just going to throw it out like that. It will work and be successful.”

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