Franklin County Cornell Cooperative Extension is set to host a workshop to explore industrial hemp production in New York State on April 25, at the Franklin County Courthouse from 1 to 4 pm.
In recent years, industrial hemp production in the United States has seen renewed interest. It is now possible to test for THC levels (THC is the main intoxicating ingredient in marijuana), to ensure that only low THC level crops are being grown legally, and hemp could once again be a profitable ag commodity.
This became more of a reality with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill at the end of December when hemp was officially differentiated from marijuana and cultivation of hemp became legalized on a broad scale, not just in pilot research projects as had been previously approved through the USDA and individual state departments of agriculture. The 2018 Farm Bill allows hemp-derived products across state lines for commercial or other purposes and puts no restrictions on the sale, transport, or procession of hemp-derived products as long as they are produced in a legal manner. It is important to note, that although this has now made hemp a mainstream commodity crop, there are still state and federal regulations that must be followed when growing it.
Going forward, regulation of hemp growing is expected to be shared by individual states as well as the federal government. Each state must submit a plan to license and regulate hemp and have it approved by the USDA before hemp can be grown. For states who do not develop their own plan the USDA are expected to develop a regulatory program and growers in those states will have to apply for licenses and comply with the federally run program.
Speakers will include:
· Chris Logue, Director of the Division of Plant Industry with the NYS Department of Ag and Markets who will be discussing the current NYS regulations
· Kitty O’Neil, PhD, CCA, Field crops and Soils Specialist with the CCE North Country Regional Ag Team who will be discussing plant biology, growth requirements and harvesting
· Lindsey Pashow, Ag Business Development and Marketing Specialist, CCE HarvestNY, who will be discussing potential products and the current supply chain
The workshop will be held in the Franklin County Courthouse, Kitchen Conference Room, 355 W Main St, Malone. Cost is $5 per person and pre-registration is requested. Registration can be completed online or by calling (518) 483-7403.
Photo of Industrial Hemp courtesy Hemp Industry Association.