NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A8509
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in
relation to the inspection and sale of industrial hemp seeds, the
support of the industrial hemp industry and the inclusion of industrial
hemp as a crop
PURPOSE OF THE BILL:
This bill would modify the Agriculture and Markets Law (AML) to ensure
that industrial hemp will be considered an agricultural product and that
it be treated the same way as other crops and seed.
The bill would direct the establishment of an industrial hemp seed
certification program to ensure that authorized users of industrial hemp
seed have adequate protection with respect to trueness to variety,
germination, and concentration of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in
seed offered for sale. It also would authorize the commissioner to
collect industrial hemp data and use that data to promote best farming
practices for industrial hemp.
The bill would direct the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets to
cooperate and consult with the New York State Urban Development Corpo-
ration with respect to the funding and support of industrial hemp
research and to establish a webpage and a Department one-stop shop toll-
free hotline for technical assistance concerning industrial hemp.
The bill also would direct establishment of an industrial hemp work-
group, composed of researchers and industry leaders to make recommenda-
tions concerning research, state and federal policy, policy initiatives,
and, as consistent with federal and state laws, opportunities for the
promotion and marketing of industrial hemp.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill would make a declaration of legislative findings
Section 2 of the bill would amend AML § 136 (3) to add "industrial hemp"
to the definition of "agricultural seeds" and "crop seeds" for purposes
of AML Article 9-Inspection and Sale of Seeds.
Section 3 of the bill would amend AML § 301 (2) to add "industrial hemp"
to the definition of "crops, livestock and livestock products" for
purposes of AML Article 25-AA- Agricultural Districts Law.
Section 4 of the bill would amend AML Article 29 - Growth of Industrial
Hemp to add a new § 510 requiring the establishment of an industrial
hemp seed certification program.
Section 5 of the bill would amend AML Article 29 - Growth of Industrial
Hemp to add a new § 511 authorizing the commissioner to engage in indus-
trial hemp data collection and to use such data to promote best farming
practices for industrial hemp.
Section 6 of the bill would amend AML Article 29 - Growth of Industrial
Hemp to add a new § 512 requiring the commissioner to consult and coop-
erate with the New York State Urban Development Corporation regarding
the funding and support of industrial hemp research and businesses
involved in the processing and manufacture of industrial hemp products.
Section 7 would amend AML Article 29 - Growth of Industrial Hemp to add
a new § 513 requiring the commissioner to establish an industrial hemp
one-stop shop and website to provide information and technical assist-
ance to industrial hemp producers and manufacturers.
Section 8 would amend AML Article 29 - Growth of Industrial Hemp to add
a new § 514 requiring the commissioner to appoint a New York State
industrial hemp workgroup to provide recommendations concerning
research, current policy, policy initiatives, and promotion and market-
ing opportunities consistent with federal and state law and regulation.
Industrial hemp and products derived from it offer tremendous potential
for farmers and manufacturers in New York State. It has a wide array of
uses, including food, fabric, insulation, carpeting, paneling, cordage,
pulp, fiber board, compost, mortar, bedding, chemical feedstocks, and
The 2014 federal Farm Bill authorized state pilot programs for hemp
research. Based upon this and other changes in federal law, Governor
Cuomo signed legislation in 2015 authorizing ten sites for the growing
of industrial hemp as part of agricultural pilot programs. The Governor
signed further legislation in 2016 and 2017, expanding the scope and
breadth of this research.
This bill would ensure that industrial hemp is recognized as agricul-
tural product and is treated like other agricultural products. It would
also established a framework to develop standards and quality benchmarks
for industrial hemp seed developed in New York and facilitate and
support additional study of industrial hemp and products derived from
By supporting and expanding the research and study of industrial hemp,
New York State can become a leader in providing valuable knowledge
concerning the growth, cultivation, uses, processing and product devel-
opment that will benefit New York farms and businesses.
With New York in the forefront of industrial hemp research, New York
producers and manufacturers will be in an excellent position to capital-
ize on this emerging crop.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This is a new bill.
This bill would take effect immediately.