December 13, 2018


  • Steve Rice, IBANYS Director of Government Relations & Communications
Informational Update: Farm Bill Removes Industrial Hemp
From Controlled Substance Act
A provision of the farm bill that has now passed by the Senate the House removes industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. The president is expected to sign the bill next week. The legislation makes the sale and distribution of hemp products in the United States legal. It opens up its production to entrepreneurs across a range of areas. Industrial hemp can produce fiber, fuel, grain, food oils and protein.

New York State recently announced an open solicitation for individuals and businesses interested in growing or processing industrial hemp to further grow the industrial hemp industry in New York State.  The open solicitation ends Dec. 28.  As part of the State's Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program, launched by Governor Cuomo in 2015, the Department of Agriculture and Markets is now accepting applications for growers and processors of industrial hemp. 

Press coverage has noted agriculture watchers predict hemp's transition to being considered a crop much like any other would open up vast new markets for New York growers.  Jeff Williams, public policy director with the New York Farm Bureau, commented: "I do think there is an element of there being a pent-up consumer need for this. You can walk through the grocery store and see  [hemp] products from Canada, soap, protein shakes, different kinds of foods that consumers want to buy and they're actively seeking them out.....really the sky's the limit when it comes to what the product can provide."  Williams predicted a valuable boost for New York farmers once they had the opportunity to start rotating hemp in with their corn and soybeans.

Stephen W. Rice
Director of Government Relations & Communications