A new $3.2 million facility near Binghamton, New York, is the first in the United States to receive some form of government assistance to promote the processing of hemp.
The hemp processing plant, an unnamed project slated to open later this year, is receiving $650,000 from the state, Binghamton TV station WIVT reported.
It is the first award from New York’s $5 million fund designated to boost the processing side of the hemp industry.
The plant will prepare hemp fibers and oils for further manufacturing, New York Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo told the TV station.
The grant, announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is thought to be the nation’s first government investment in hemp processing.
Cuomo has said he wants New York state to lead the way in processing hemp.
“The emerging industrial hemp industry has the power to transform the agricultural economy,” Cuomo’s office said in prepared remarks.
New York is offering another $5 million for research into the hemp plant, including $2 million to develop certified seed.
“To avoid long-term dependence on seed from other states and countries, (New York) must begin to produce its own unique seed,” Cuomo said.