New York growing hemp for first time in 80 years

Madison County, just east of Syracuse, New York, is home to the first legal industrial hemp crop in the state in 80 years.

And thanks to a bill signed into law on Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the cultivators will be allowed to sell it under an existing pilot program, according to the Journal News.

The bill was necessary because the 2014 law that launched the current hemp crop allowed farmers and universities to grow the plant only for research purposes.

JD Farms, which is working hand-in-hand with Morrisville State College on the project, is ready to start talking to companies interested in purchasing its harvest.

“This bill makes it possible for us to negotiate price-points with interested buyers and produce statistically relevant data about the current state of the market for other farmers and institutions interested in participating in the program,” JD Farms co-owner Dan Dolgin told the paper.

While not growing as quickly as the marijuana market, a hemp comeback is underway across the country. And many in the industry expect that it will only get bigger with time, given hemp’s versatility. For example, it can be used to make nearly anything, from food to clothing to car parts.