New York reinvigorating hemp program with $10M in grants

New York state is opening its ramped-up hemp program with a call for new growers and an offer of up to $10 million in grant funding.

The grants come in two categories:

  • $5 million will fund industrial hemp research, including nearly $1 million in partnerships with Cornell University and Morrisville State College to support industrial hemp research during the 2017 growing season. Cornell plans to concentrate its work on designing industrial hempseed certification standards for New York.
  • $5 million will go to economic development opportunities for industrial hemp businesses. Winning applicants will get funding for capital costs related to the processing of industrial hemp, including new construction and the purchase of equipment. Grants in this category will range from $10,000 to $500,000, with recipients agreeing to pay half the total capital expense.

The state agriculture department will accept applications to join the hemp program until Nov. 22.

New York passed a law in 2014 authorizing limited hemp growing for research purposes, and it took effect in 2015.

Then, earlier this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law eliminating the cap on the number of sites authorized to grow and research the plant and expanding the program to include farmers and businesses.