Bill would allow domestic cultivation of industrial hemp

Posted: Updated:
TUCKAHOE -

A bill that would allow industrial hemp to be adapted to the state's climate and be used as a crop seed was introduced in the State Assembly Saturday.

The bill states the domestic cultivation of hemp would create jobs and new products that would benefit New Yorkers.

State Assemblyman David Buchwald, who represents part of Westchester County, agrees.

"I think agriculture is an important segment of the New York State economy," he says. "If industrial hemp research can spur economic growth and jobs in New York, it's worth allowing the development of the crop."

Currently, several colleges and private organizations grow hemp for research. Some are exploring its health benefits and others are exploring it for products.

Hemp and marijuana are part of the same species but are used differently. Hemp can be eaten or used to make rope or even clothing.

Some parents, though, find hemp controversial. Last week, the owner of an Ossining Shell gas station took a drink called "Cannabis Energy Drink" off the shelves after community backlash.

The drink didn't contain THC but did contain hemp seed extract.

The bill has the support of several lawmakers and could be passed into law this week.

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