The first New York State Industrial Hemp Summit was at Cornell University on Tuesday. The summit’s goal was to encourage conversations between government officials, farmers, and researchers.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul stressed the possibilities for industrial hemp in New York; the National Hemp Association says U.S. imports of hemp products and raw hemp are worth an estimated $300 million.
Hochul said, since the industry is so big, why not grow it here? "I think there should be processing here, I think the manufacturing should go here," she said. "I think we should be saying, We’re not just gonna grow this, we’re gonna take it to its end use right here in the Southern Tier.’”
Hochul announced six private companies have been added to the next phase of the state’s Hemp Research Program. With four colleges already conducting research, hopes are high the industry can take off within the next few years.