New York State On The Eve Of Legal Hemp Cultivation
If Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the bill, the first plantings could take place in the spring.
A controversial plant could fuel a new agricultural and manufacturing boom in New York, say supporters of a law that would ease restrictions on growing industrial hemp in the state.
A bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell, would permit hemp to be grown as part of an agricultural pilot program starting next year. It passed unanimously in the Assembly and Senate, where Sen. Tom O'Mara, R-Big Flats, was the sponsor.
It is now awaiting Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature. A spokesperson for the governor could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
The goal is to establish capacity and interest in producing hemp products on New York land, with New York labor, to generate money and taxes that stay in the state, Lupardo said.
"Go into any health food store, and there's usually a whole section of hemp products: Hemp shampoo, hemp beer, hemp clothing," she said. "The newest discovery is the food angle."