The New York State Hemp Industry is Growing like a Weed

On December 20, farmers and entrepreneurs struck gold when Congress passed the The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, or the “Farm Bill.” The law uprooted hemp from the controlled substances list, approving it for industrial growth in all 50 states.

Four months later, hundreds of licenses to grow and process the newly-legalized plant — otherwise known as Cannabis sativa L — have been distributed to eager growers throughout New York State. Prior to the greenlight for industrial growth, growing hemp was restricted to academic research institutions, of which Cornell was among the first to receive a license in 2017.

Now, economic analysts are calling hemp the most lucrative cash crop farmers have seen in decades, with the industry projected to grow 18.3 percent each year over the next decade. Business is already booming. And Cornell will lend a hand in helping the crop succeed.

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