Cornell University and SUNY Morrisville both plan to pursue state licenses for experimental crops of industrial hemp now that state regulations for the crop have been established.
The state Department of Agriculture and Markets published final regulations governing experimental industrial hemp Wednesday. Federal law was changed in 2014 allowing states to permit hemp research, and New York lawmakers approved a bill doing so last year. The new regulations were needed before any crops could be planted this coming growing season. Industrial hemp differs from the plant that produces marijuana in that it contains too little tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that produces a recreational high.
The move was hailed by state Sen. Tom O’Mara, R-Elmira, and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell, who sponsored bills in their respective houses setting up the program. They believe hemp could become a significant crop in the Southern Tier and throughout upstate. [Read more at the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin]