Industrial Hemp Research Initiative in New York State

New York is cultivating the industrial hemp market and supporting new opportunities to grow this multi-million dollar crop, which is used in the manufacture of an estimated 25,000+ products—from clothing and food to building materials and pharmaceuticals.

The Governor has taken significant measures to encourage industrial hemp production in New York. In 2015, the State launched its Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program, permitting a limited number of educational institutions to grow and research industrial hemp. In 2017, the State eliminated the cap on the number of sites authorized to grow and research the plant and expanded the program to include farmers and businesses. Governor Cuomo also introduced and signed new legislation to establish industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity under the State’s Agricultural and Markets Law.

The Governor also announced up to $10 million in grant funding will be available through two initiatives to advance industrial hemp research and economic development opportunities for industrial hemp businesses. The State will make up to $5 million in research grants available to support the research and production of industrial hemp in New York—including nearly $1 million in partnerships with Cornell University and SUNY Morrisville to support industrial hemp research during the 2017 growing season. The State will also make up to $5 million in capital grants available to provide funding to eligible businesses for capital costs related to the processing of industrial hemp, including new construction and the purchase of equipment.

 

Research Grant Programs

New York State is partnering with Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and SUNY Morrisville to advance industrial hemp research in New York State. As part of the partnership, up to $1 million in grant funding is being made available to eligible producers who participate in New York’s Industrial Hemp Research Initiative.  

New York State has also allocated up to $5 million for the New York State Industrial Hemp Processors Grant Fund. Administered by Empire State Development, in consultation with the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, the program will provide funding for buildings, machinery, equipment, and other capital costs related to the processing of industrial hemp. Grants of up to $500,000 will be available to qualifying applicants. Program guidelines and applications will be available on July 27, 2017.

What is the NYS Industrial Hemp Research Initiative?

New York is cultivating the industrial hemp market and supporting new opportunities to grow this multi-million dollar crop, which is used in the manufacture of an estimated 25,000+ products—from clothing and food to building materials and pharmaceuticals.

To encourage the growth of New York’s research program and to quickly gain critical research data, New York has undertaken a major research project that significantly increases in the State’s production.

The research project focuses on developing basic agronomic and production cost information for growing industrial hemp at scale in different locations under New York State conditions. The industrial hemp grown in this project may also be sold for further processing, which will develop price data from the open market. These sets of agronomic, cost-of-production, and business data will be distilled into useful and practical knowledge to inform production decisions related to future growth in the industrial hemp industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is growing industrial hemp legal? 
A: Growing industrial hemp, as a research partner in the New York State Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program conducted by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, is authorized by federal and state law. 

Q: How do I get the necessary permits?
​A: A farm, business or researcher wishing to participate in the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program can apply as a potential research partner with the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and be considered for a permit. Contact the Department toll-free at (877) 249-6841 or email IndustrialHempNYS@agriculture.ny.gov.

Q: In what conditions will industrial hemp grow? 
​A: Industrial hemp can be grown on a wide variety of soils, but will perform best on deep, well-drained soils with adequate moisture.  New York State, with its highly productive soils and ample water supply, is an ideal location to capitalize on the emerging industrial hemp industry. Contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension agent for additional information. 

 

Q: Where can I get industrial hemp seed?
​A: Please contact the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets for more information. 

Q: Where can I sell my industrial hemp? 
​A: Selling industrial hemp products is permitted in connection with market and other research. Industrial hemp can be used to produce a wide variety of goods, including clothing, cosmetics, insulation, paper, and thousands of other consumer products.

Q: What is the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana?
A: While industrial hemp is the same genus and species as marijuana (Cannabis sativa L.), the varieties of the plant used for industrial hemp purposes have a delta-9 tetra-hydrocannabinol (THC) level of less than 0.3%.

Q: Who can I call if I have questions?
​A: The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, Plant Industry Division. Call toll-free at (877) 249-6841 or email IndustrialHempNYS@agriculture.ny.gov.

More Information on Industrial Hemp in New York State 

The State’s successful industrial hemp research pilot program is expanding. Ten private farms, businesses and educational institutions are already permitted to conduct research on the crop.  Now, thanks to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s support of the program, the number of sites where industrial hemp can be grown in New York State is unlimited. 
 
As a result of the state’s top-tier research capabilities, its ample land, access to water – and now, its industry-friendly laws and regulations – New York is emerging as the ideal place to capitalize on the budding industrial hemp market.
 
Farms and higher education institutions interested in exploring opportunities to join this emerging industry are encouraged to review the FAQ and program guidance, and contact the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. 

To learn more, call toll-free or email at (877) 249-6841 or IndustrialHempNYS@agriculture.ny.gov.

 

Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program Application

Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program Guidance

Industrial Hemp Industry Initiatives in New York State

Planting the Seeds for Industrial Hemp in New York State

Learn more about industrial hemp and how New York's innovative research is driving the agricultural economy.