Using hemp for the packaging of cannabis products makes a lot of sense, and NY State Senator Michelle Hinchey wants to make it law in New York.
Senator Hinchey announced new legislation (S.7508) last week, which she says will kickstart a sustainable and lucrative industrial hemp industry in her state. Should it pass muster, the bill would see New York State’s Cannabis Control Board (CCB) developing a plan making industrial hemp a star material for all cannabis products manufactured in the state. Under Senate Bill 7508, cannabis packing materials will need to incorporate no less than 30 per cent hemp.
Additionally, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and Empire State Development (ESD) would be tasked with creating the “Sustainable Cannabis Packaging Incubator Program”. This initiative would provide financial incentives to farmers and cannabusinesses involved in the development of hemp-based packaging materials.
“Environmentally-safe industrialized hemp is the future of manufacturing and I look forward to getting my bill passed in the 2022 session so that New York can lead the way in this emerging market,” said Senator Hinchey.
Senator Hinchey has made the bill one of her top priorities for the 2022 session.
Hemp’s potential as a source for packaging is diverse given its very high cellulose content. Aside from paper, cardboard and textile- based packaging materials based on hemp hurd and bast fibre, the plant can also be used to create hemp plastics. As well as being biodegradable and created from a renewable resource, hemp bioplastics are strong, thermally and UV stable, and lightweight.
Plastic packaging made from hemp can often be produced using the same equipment used to manufacture petroleum-based plastics packaging for foods and beverages – and the same goes for paper/cardboard based products
“There is no other natural resource that offers the same environmental, agricultural, and economic potential as hemp,” states the Senator.
If this should come to pass in New York, there could be positive knock-on effects across the country; with technologies and products developed that push down the cost of hemp packaging. And, where New York leads, other states and jurisdictions may follow.