ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that aims to boost hemp production.
Also on Wednesday, the Democratic governor announced $10 million in state funds to boost industrial hemp research and development.
While hemp is a variety of cannabis, it does not contain the level of active compounds found in marijuana. Nonetheless, efforts to grow the plant for use in textiles, food supplements, biofuels and even building materials have long been hampered by anti-drug laws.
The bill signed by Cuomo formally adds hemp to the state's list of agricultural commodities and creates a hemp advisory panel.
Cuomo says hemp holds great potential for New York's agricultural and biotechnology industries.
A state program launched last year allows farmers to partner with universities to grow and research hemp.
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