A bill to expand New York’s hemp program was signed into law Friday by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
In December, 2014 Governor Cuomo signed a bill allowing New York’s Department of Agriculture, as well as universities in the state, to cultivate and produce hemp for the purposes of research. The new measure, introduced by Senator Tom O’Mara, expands upon this by allowing for the the transportation and distribution of hemp, and by allowing those outside of the state’s universities and Department of Agriculture to grow hemp, as long as its part of the state’s research program..
Senator O’Mara says the measure will help lay the groundwork for the eventual full legalization of commercial hemp in New York.
According to congressional research, the United States imports roughly half a billion dollars in hemp from other countries while retaining the illegality of its cultivation amongst its own farmers. The same research estimates the hemp market to consist of over 25,000 various products.