State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Hemp Program Plan was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, all states interested in administering a state hemp program were required to submit a hemp program plan to the USDA. The Plan allows the Department to continue to administer a hemp grower licensing program, starting in 2022. The Department is now accepting applications for the program, which will take effect on January 1, 2022. Applications and additional information are available here.
Commissioner Ball said, “New York State has been a leader in the hemp industry since the launch of its pilot program, with producers registered to grow industrial hemp on 30,000 acres. Under this new plan, our growers will have stability and consistency in regulations moving forward, with continued guidance and support from the Department. We look forward to continuing to administer this important program, which provides growers with an avenue to diversify crops and tap into new markets.”
All currently licensed growers participating in New York State’s program need to reapply under this new program to grow hemp next year. The current Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program expires at the end of 2021.
The new plan can be found here, and includes new guidelines for growers, including sampling and testing requirements. In addition, all growers will need to complete the FBI Identity History Summary Check, which can be found here. The FBI Identity History Summary Check must be submitted with the application for a grower license and must have been performed no more than 60 days prior to submitting the grower license application.
New York State launched the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program in 2015, recognizing its potential impact on manufacturing, job creation, and the profitability of farms across New York State. Since then, the State has joined with researchers, academics, businesses, and processors to develop strategies to advance research and grow the industry throughout the State. Over the duration of the program, the New York State Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program had nearly 800 authorized growers, and approximately 30,000 acres registered for growing industrial hemp.