Robert Downen reports in The Albany Times Union
that while marijuana may still be mostly illegal in New York, rollbacks to regulations in the 2018 state budget make growing hemp possible now. The 2014 U.S. Farm Bill left hemp regulation to the states, and at least 28 have started hemp pilot programs since then. "In the United States we really don't grow any textiles, so every article of clothing that we wear is sourced from another country," said Scott Giannotti, founder of the (New York) Cannabis and Hemp Association. "(Hemp) is an opportunity for a mid-sized or large-scale fashion company to say, 'Hey I want something that's different. I want something that's going to be disruptive in the fashion world. ... It may not be cheaper, but there's something to be said about quality and sustainability." Last year there were only two licences in New York for hemp farming, but the new state budget eliminates the cap on the number of farms allowed to research, grow, and process the plant as an agricultural commodity. Read the full story in The Albany Times Union.