industrial hemp

Industrial Hemp

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SIPS plant breeder Don Viands with industrial hemp plant.

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The hemp plant (Cannabis sativa) is among the most ancient plants domesticated by humans, and has been used for its fiber, oil and medicinal properties.

There are genetically distinct biotypes of hemp, some of which have low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels, the principal intoxicating agent in marijuana types of Cannabis. These low-THC biotypes types (referred to as industrial hemp or simply hemp) are used for fiber, hempseed oil, and seed production and are the focus of  our work here at Cornell.

New York State is poised to become a major producer of industrial hemp, providing healthy hempseed oil and fiber for textiles, insulation and other uses. To realize its potential, research and extension are needed to ensure optimal productivity and quality.

The 2014 U.S. Farm Bill legalized the growth of hemp for research by departments of agriculture or higher education institutions in states where it has been approved by law.  Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell and State Sen. Tom O’Mara, R-Big Flats, sponsored legislation that created New York’s pilot program. Governor Cuomo signed the law in December 2015.

Cornell University and SUNY Morrisville were issued research permits in 2016, with subsequent authorization granted to SUNY Sullivan and Binghamton University.

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Visit the School of Integrative Science Industrial Hemp YouTube playlist - Features the New York Industrial Hemp Summit (afternoon sessions) hosted by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in partnership with Governor Andrew Cuomo at  Cornell University, April 18, 2017. Speakers included:

  • Kathryn J. Boor, Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
  • Richard A. Ball , Commissioner,  New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
  • Donna Lupardo, Assemblywoman, New York State Assembly, 123rd Assembly District
  • Christopher Logue, Division of Plant Industry, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
  • Donald Viands, Associate Dean, Director of Academic Programs, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
  • Christopher Nyberg, Dean, School of Agriculture, Sustainability, Business and Entrepreneurship, Morrisville State College
  • John “Jay” Quaintance, Interim President, SUNY Sullivan
  • Eric Hoffman, Associate Dean for Research, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Binghamton University
  • Susie Cody, Hemp Industries Association
  • Dan Dolgin and Mark Justh, JD Farms, Eaton, N.Y.
  • Anil Netravali, Jean & Douglas McLean Professor in Fiber Science & Apparel Design, Cornell University
  • Christine Smart, Interim Director, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University
  • Scott Wyner, General Counsel, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets