After suffering roughly 80 years of environmentally damaging ignorance, New York State has harvested its first crop of industrial hemp.
Marijuana may have a long road to hoe before legalization officially blooms in the Empire State but a massive field of its low-THC cousin – HEMP – took root this summer on J&D Farms. Cultivating New York State’s first legal hemp farm in decades, J&D Farms was granted a permit by the New York Farm Bureau and the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, as part of the state’s pilot program.
“The New York Farm Bureau, Cornell University researchers and other agricultural leaders and farm advocates recognize industrial hemp as a potentially lucrative way to provide new economic opportunities and a competitive edge for our farmers. Getting this critical pilot program underway will help New York State start to secure a strong position at the forefront of an industry that can diversify and strengthen our agricultural economy, generate revenue, and create jobs.”
According to ABC News, participation in New York’s hemp pilot program requires any would-be cultivators to develop a university partnership and obtain the necessary state licensing. Too restrictive for many, a current Wall Street bond trader, Phil Hodges, would be seriously interested in testing out his green thumb.
“I’d love to be able to get into it right away, but the research partnership complicates things.”
Providing alternatives to petroleum-based plastics and clear-cutting forests for fiber, the proprietors of J&D Farms, Mark Justh and Dan Dolgin, are strong believers in the plant’s ability to replace more harmful practices.
“We believe this crop has the potential to stimulate strong economic growth across a broad spectrum of industries to include agriculture, manufacturing, energy and livestock. This research program will go a long way towards providing New York with a competitive advantage before more states across the country follow suit. We look forward to spreading the knowledge we collect to other New York farmers in hopes of establishing the state as a leading producer of industrial hemp and are eager to begin putting seeds in the ground.”
Tremendously valued by two of the more prominent Presidents in U.S. history, both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson praised the hemp plant as a cherished natural resource that should be cultivated for the benefit of all.
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