Farmers can apply to grow hemp

In September, a combine harvested hemp at Indian Ladder Farms in New Scotland.

As part of New York’s Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program, the state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets is now accepting applications for growers and processors of industrial hemp.  

The department is also accepting applications for the processing of industrial hemp as it relates to Cannabidiol, known as CBD. Applications can focus on research into the benefits and risks of CBD use for wellness purposes and to gauge its effectiveness.

Applications related to human and animal food will not be considered at this time.

The applications and additional information, including the department’s CBD Research Partner Agreement, can be found on the department’s website at https://www.agriculture.ny.gov/PI/PIHome.html. The open solicitation ends Dec. 28.

Any questions must be submitted in writing to ; all answers will be posted on the department’s website under the FAQ section.

In addition, the department continues to accept applications on a rolling basis for future research partners in the areas of grain and fiber.

Hemp is a growing commodity for states across the nation, as both the stalk and seed from hemp can be used in the production of a variety of goods, including clothing, building materials, fuel, paper, and consumer products.

Industrial hemp is defined by .3 percent THC or less. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, one of over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis, and the major psychoactive, or mind-altering, constituent of marijuana.

Nationally, industrial hemp products generate nearly $600 million per year in sales.

This year, with the addition of more than 100 new research partners, approximately 3,500 acres of New York farmland are approved for industrial hemp research, compared to 2,000 acres in 2017. The New York State Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program, launched in 2015, now has over 29 processors registered. The state held its first Industrial Hemp Summit and announced several actions to support the emerging industry in April 2017.

Following on the heels of the Industrial Hemp Summit, the Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to solidify the status of industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity under New York Agriculture and Markets Law and created a one-stop shop and webpage to help producers and processors better understand state and federal regulations and requirements.

The state also held an Industrial Hemp Research Forum, bringing together researchers, academics, businesses and processors to develop strategies to advance research throughout the state.

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