Thursday, March 30, 2017
Binghamton University to research industrial hemp
By Lindsey Riback
ALBANY -- Binghamton University will now join three other state colleges in conducting research on industrial hemp, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.
Both Binghamton and SUNY Sullivan were authorized this week to participate in the state’s Industrial Hemp Agricultural Pilot program, in which universities and private farms can grow and research hemp as an agricultural commodity. The program was launched in January 2016.
“Expanding New York’s industrial hemp pilot program will create a synergy of growth between some of this state’s top-notch colleges, universities and private farms and encourage more growers to explore the potential economic opportunities associated with this crop,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Binghamton’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences will use the permit to research cannabidiol, which has shown to have medical benefits. It is partnering with Nanticoke Gardens in Endicott.
"Binghamton University is excited to explore hemp-related research that aims to create medicines and products that improve the lives of New Yorkers,” Gloria Meredith, the school's founding dean, said in a statement. “This area of research has great potential.”
SUNY Sullivan will research the effects of growing practices on hemp cultivation as well as the key properties of cannabidiol.
The two schools are joining join Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Morrisville State College in the program. Over the past year, Cornell has researched seeding equipment, and Morrisville has researched potential uses of hemp.
The permits are issued by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, which is responsible for monitoring the recipients to ensure the research being conducted within the areas of harvesting, manufacturing and marketing.
Legislation proposed in January by the governor would expand the pilot program by lifting the limit of 10 universities and farms permitted to conduct hemp research. The department is currently reviewing applications for the six permits that remain available.
“I always envisioned industrial hemp as a major agricultural and manufacturing opportunity for New York and the Southern Tier in particular; these new research permits are a major step in that direction,” Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell, said in a statement.
According to Cuomo’s office, the hemp industry generated roughly $573 million in sales in 2015, and the seed and stalk can be used to produce clothing, building materials, fuel, paper, and other consumer products.