HomeNewsGreen Light From USDA For New York's Hemp Program

Green Light From USDA For New York’s Hemp Program

Well, that was cutting it fine – but New York now has the feds’ blessing to continue cultivating hemp in the state.

The USDA’s interim final rule on hemp was published back in late October 2019 and the Final Rule in mid-January 2021, but a number of states continued to operate under provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill. The ability to do so will pass when the calendar flips over to 2022. All states are required to have a USDA-approved plan, or to operate under a USDA provided one.

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball announced on Tuesday the State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Hemp Program Plan was given the go-ahead by the USDA, which will come into effect from January 1.

“Under this new plan, our growers will have stability and consistency in regulations moving forward, with continued guidance and support from the Department,” said Commissioner Ball. “We look forward to continuing to administer this important program, which provides growers with an avenue to diversify crops and tap into new markets.”

New York State launched the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program in 2015. Over the duration of the program, the Program had nearly 800 authorized growers, and approximately 30,000 acres registered for growing industrial hemp.

All currently licensed growers will need to reapply under the new program to grow hemp during the 2022 season. The Department is now accepting applications from parties wanting to grow hemp for fiber, grain, (seed), CBD (cannabidiol), or other purposes. Along with a completed application form, applicants need to provide all required maps, fees, and an FBI Identity History Summary.

The hemp program only applies to Cannabis sativa L.  with a total THC concentration not exceeding 0.3% on a dry weight basis. THC concentration above that is considered marijuana and the regulation of marijuana in the state is administered by the New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM).

Licenses available under the hemp program are:

  • Hemp Grower License – $500/3 years. Authorizes the growth, cultivation, and handling of hemp plant material for market.
  • Nursery Grower License – $100/2 years. Authorizes the sale of rooted hemp plants or seedlings.
  • Hemp Seed Retail License – $100/3 years. Authorizes the sale of hemp seeds.

Further information on Hemp Grower Licensing in New York State can be found here.

Gillian Jalimnson
Gillian Jalimnson is one of Hemp Gazette's staff writers and has been with us since we kicked off in 2015. Gillian sees massive potential for cannabis in areas of health, energy, building and personal care products and is intrigued by the potential for cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative to conventional treatments. You can contact Gillian here.

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