Albany, NY...In the final day of the 2019 legislative session, the State Senate and Assembly passed bills (S-6184A/A-7680A), sponsored by Senator Jen Metzger and Assembly Member Donna Lupardo, to regulate the production and marketing of hemp extract in the state, including cannabidiol, known as CBD. This legislation establishes a regulatory framework for hemp extract production, extraction, manufacturing, and sale in New York, updating the hemp permitting process and regulating the extract industry through testing and labeling, protecting both farmers and consumers. It also requires that New York State hemp processors use New York-grown product.
“Hemp cultivation offers a tremendous opportunity for our farms in New York to diversify into this high-value crop,” explained Senator Jen Metzger, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee. “This legislation creates a framework for developing and regulating this growing agricultural market to the benefit of New York farms while ensuring that consumers can trust that they are getting a quality, standardized product.”
New York’s first hemp crops were planted in 2016 as a result of legislation passed by Assembly Member Lupardo. The 2019 Federal Farm Bill legalized the production of industrial hemp, and today’s legislation ensures that New York farms are able to take full advantage of the new opportunities created.
“The Town of Warwick is excited that the State of New York has passed legislation that will support our efforts to create a hemp processing center, in Warwick, that provides our area farmers a state-of-the-art facility to process their product into high quality CBD oil. This product will be used to create new businesses with huge economic benefits for New York State. I commend Senator Metzger for her leadership in moving this legislation forward,” said Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton.
“As a fourth-generation vegetable farmer, I continue to seek ways to grow our farm business and keep it viable. We have been participating in the New York hemp pilot program, and I applaud Senator Metzger for making the expansion of industrial hemp production in New York happen this year. I appreciate all Senator Metzger's work to bring new opportunities to the farming community and help keep New York farming strong,” said Mark Rogowski, who owns and operates S&SO Produce Farms in Goshen.
Gail Hepworth, CEO of Hempire State Growers, a farmer-focused cooperative consisting of over 30 multi-generational farmers from the Mid-Hudson Valley said, “The hemp bill aligns well with our mission to build replicable, ethical, and sustainable practices in agriculture that significantly support the local economy and ecosystem of the Hudson Valley. Senator Metzger and Assemblywoman Lupardo have been instrumental in ensuring that the interests of New York farmers are represented in their bill, which will provide a framework to allow farmers to actively contribute to and benefit from the development and expansion of the hemp industry and help establish the Hudson Valley as a world-class CBD region.”
The main markets for industrial hemp are in the food and supplement market, the clothing industry, as building materials, and for bio-plastics and paper products. Hemp is protein-rich, high in Omega fatty acids and fiber. Regulation of hemp supplement and food products is important for making sure that consumers know what they are ingesting.
Jen Metzger represents the 42nd Senate District, which includes all of Sullivan County and parts of Delaware, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Senator Metzger serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Environmental Conservation, Education, Health, Energy and Telecommunications, Local Government, Women’s Issues, Domestic Animal Welfare, and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Committees.