As part of Governor Cuomo’s FY 2019 budget for New York, the Governor intends to not only continue the investment that the state has made into the hemp industry, but for New York to become a leader in the hemp industry.

In 2015, New York launched its Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program after Congress had passed the Agricultural Act of 2014 (aka 2014 U.S. Farm Bill), which permits universities and state agriculture departments to grow industrial hemp as part of their state’s agricultural pilot program. In 2017, New York expanded its pilot program to authorize farmers and businesses to grow and research hemp as a research partner in the state’s program. In addition, the Governor made up to $5 million available in grants for research and production, and another $5 million in grants to eligible businesses for capital costs related to processing industrial hemp.

Now the FY 2019 budget provides $650,000 for an industrial hemp processing facility in the greater Binghamton area, and another $2 million for a program to certify and breed seeds, so that New York can start to produce unique seeds. In addition, the state intends to import thousands of pounds of industrial hemp seed to alleviate some of the burdens faced by farmers.

Given that industrial hemp can be used in the manufacture of over 25,000 products, including foods and beverages, cosmetics and personal care products, nutritional supplements, fabrics and textiles, yarns, paper, construction and insulation materials, fuel and other products, businesses are increasingly capitalizing on the hemp market. With the New York State’s budget support for its industrial hemp program and the state’s population being estimated at 20 million, businesses may be enticed to consider New York in their hemp related business plans.