It has been over a year since the bill that legalized “industrial hemp” was passed and now it is going a step further; state regulators have proposed certain rules that if passed would allow Cornell University, along with other colleges, to grow cannabis. The rules allowing the research have been published in the State Register. The rules address almost everything, ranging from the growth and transportation of the cannabis to advertising and retail sale. The cost for a college that wishes to begin researching the plant is only $500.

Hemp is a byproduct of the cannabis Sativa plant. Hemp fiber has been used for generations for items such as fabrics, ropes, and more. Hemp seeds are used for nutritional purposes and are perhaps the best for diets. The oil extracted from seeds becomes solid when exposed to air and may be used in making paints, creams, cooking, plastics, and more. Hemp, by law, must have less than 0.3% THC, or else it is considered to be illegal marijuana. This law prevents people from getting high since THC is the main psychoactive ingredient.

“Now that it is real, a number of universities will be looking at this,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, a sponsor of the law. Her and her office have been in touch with researchers from SUNY, CUNY as well as other colleges that would like to conduct hemp research.

“Industrial hemp is an excellent candidate from a biomass standpoint, with high yield as well as multiple potential value-added uses,” said agricultural professor at Cornell University, Jerry Cherney “Alternative markets allow farmers to minimize their risk and maximize profits.”

“Cornell is the only university in New York that we’re aware of right now that has expressed an interest and probably has the ability to do this kind of research,” stated Steve Ammerman from the New York Farm Bureau. “But certainly this could be readily available to more institutions whether it’s (SUNY) Morrisville or Cobleskill or anybody else who does agricultural science and ag-related activities.”

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