Florida Commissioner of Ag & Consumer Services Visits Broome County to Learn about NYS Hemp Industry

As New York’s hemp industry continues to grow, the state of Florida is looking to the Empire State as a model for its recently approved hemp program. Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and CSG Hemp welcomed Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried to Broome County Monday to learn more about how NYS, now a national leader, is building its hemp industry.

“Our goal for the last five years was to create a well-researched program that could be a national model. Out of this has come hemp industry standards that protect farmers, processors, and consumers alike,” said Assemblywoman Lupardo, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture. “We’re honored to have Commissioner Fried visit NY to see firsthand what our program looks like and to learn more about our model. I’m looking forward to seeing Florida’s hemp industry develop under her leadership.”

“The progress New York has made in the production of hemp and revitalizing communities is exactly what we’re trying to do in Florida, creating a gold standard for growing, manufacturing, and processing hemp,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried. “We’re building an inclusive hemp program that’s diversified – small farmers, large farmers, minorities, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs and for our multi-generational farmers in Florida. That includes on the industrial side with new biodegradable plastics, fibers, and exports that are forward-thinking and where America needs to be in the decades ahead. I’m grateful to Assemblywoman Lupardo for highlighting today New York’s success with hemp and its role in this new industrial revolution.”

Florida passed legislation allowing the cultivation of hemp in May; the federal government authorized states to grow the crop as part of the 2014 US Farm Bill. During her visit to Broome County, Fried visited the Agriculture Development Center at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County and its Taste NY store before meeting with Lupardo, local agriculture experts, and members of the state’s hemp industry. Following the meeting, Fried visited a local farm working with CSG Hemp, a company that coordinated the Commissioner’s visit with Assemblywoman Lupardo, as well as the Koffman Southern Tier Business Incubator.

“New York has quickly and deliberately become a hub for innovation and growth in the global hemp industry thanks to forward thinking from farmers, businesses, and lawmakers alike,” said Kaelan Castetter, CEO of CSG Hemp. “We are thrilled to welcome Nikki Fried, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture & Consumer Services, to the Southern Tier to experience this first hand. With recent passage of The Hemp Extract Bill, governments across the country are looking to our model as one that prioritizes agriculture, consumer safety, and economic growth”.