The 2018 Federal Farm Bill (Farm Bill) significantly changed federal regulation of the growing of hemp in the United States. In the Farm Bill, hemp was removed from the federal list of controlled substances. The bill defines hemp as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
As a result, New York State’s Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program has been replaced with a new program approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as provided for in the Farm Bill and related regulations.
The new plan, which can be found on the USDA's website, includes new guidelines for growers, including sampling and testing requirements. In addition, all growers must complete the FBI Identity History Summary Check.
The FBI Identity History Summary Check must be submitted with the application for a hemp license and must have been performed no more than 60 days prior to submitting the hemp license application.
All growers previously licensed under New York State’s Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program must reapply under this new program to grow hemp in 2022 and beyond.
Find out more in the guidance document below.
Those seeking to grow and cultivate hemp or sell hemp seeds must apply for a hemp license from the Department. The steps to apply are as follows.
- Submit a completed application, found below, along with the required $500.00 nonrefundable application fee, the FBI Identity History Summary Check for all key participants, and maps/aerial photos identifying growing and storage locations.
The application document is a fillable pdf, but it and all accompanying documents must be printed and mailed to the Department in hardcopy.
Key participants is defined as a sole proprietor, a partner in a partnership, or a person with executive managerial control in a business or educational entity. A person with executive managerial control includes, with limitation, persons such as a chief executive officer, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer.
Key participants do not include non-executive managers such as farm, field, or shift managers.
- The Department will review the complete application to ensure it complies with all program requirements.
- Once the Department review is complete, the applicant will be notified of the outcome.
- If the application is approved, a New York State Hemp License will be mailed to the applicant.
An applicant is not authorized to grow or cultivate hemp or sell hemp seeds until it has received the applicable New York State Hemp License from the Department.
Each application and renewal application must include:
- the applicant’s name, address, phone number, email address, and Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN),
- the location where hemp will be cultivated or stored, including the physical address and GPS coordinates,
- a map or aerial photograph with a depiction of the buildings, structures, and improvements on the premises,
- identification of the source of seeds/propagules that will be used, and
- an FBI Identify History Summary Check (dated no more than 60 days prior to the date of application).
Disqualifying factors may include but are not limited to:
- an incorrect or incomplete application,
- recent (within the past 10 years) drug-related felony convictions of applicant or key participant(s), and/or
- proposing to use a growing or processing location already registered by another grower.
The Department is accepting applications from individuals or businesses interested in growing hemp in New York State.
Individuals or business who wish to sell hemp seeds or hemp transplants in New York State must have a valid license issued by the Department. Selling hemp seeds requires a Hemp Seed Retail License.
File an Amendment Form
Hemp license and seed retail license holders can submit requests to amend their original applications by submitting an amendment form, found below.
License holders must use this form to submit requests to amend their original application for Department review.
Submit a Report
All hemp license holders under the New York State Hemp Licensing Program must submit the reports below by the specified deadlines in accordance with the following directions.