With thousands of different finished goods deriving from industrial hemp, it is a growing commodity in states across the country. New York has an opportunity to be a lead in growth and production, both for the stalk and seed. Hemp products that have been trending include anything from healthy foods, organic body care, clothing, construction materials, biofuels, plastic composites and more. This industry could be an opportunity for both farm operations and manufacturers.
Hemp (cannabis sativa) is used for fiber, oils, and medicinal reasons. There are specific types of cannabis which have low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels, and those are classified as industrial hemp. THC is the principal intoxicating agent in marijuana. Industrial hemp has a rate of .3% THC or less. In New York State, these have been the focus of the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program.
In 2018, approximately 3,500 acres of New York farmland was approved for industrial hemp research. That was an increase of 1,500 acres from 2017. For comparison, there are approximately 400 acres of hops being grown across New York State. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is accepting applications on a rolling basis for future research partners in the areas of grain and fiber. Nationally, industrial hemp products generate nearly $600 million per year in sales, according to New York State Ag and Markets.
Last updated February 1, 2019