Albany, NY – Today, Agriculture Chairs Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Senator Michelle Hinchey announced that their bill, authorizing the use of hemp seed and hemp seed products in certain commercial animal feed (A6435/S6326), passed both houses of the NYS Legislature. The bill awaits action by the Governor.
While New York is a leader in the research and cultivation of industrial hemp, the commercial market is still developing. This legislation supports New York’s growing hemp industry by authorizing a safe, untapped use for hemp seed and hemp seed products like hulls and casings that are left over from the processing of hemp hearts for human consumption. Opening the door for small, New York-based animal food manufacturers allows them to establish this market before hemp seeds are authorized for use in commercial feed nationally. Other states, including Montana and Texas, have passed similar legislation.
Industrial hemp is a versatile crop that can be used to create textiles, animal bedding, and grains for human consumption. Each of these uses for industrial hemp are already federally approved. This bill builds on these existing uses by allowing seeds from industrial hemp plants, which are rich in protein and fiber, to be used as ingredients in commercial animal feed. The legislation allows for this feed to be fed solely to pets, specialty pets, and horses, but excludes other livestock.
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, “We have an opportunity to grow a sector of the cannabis industry that is good for the environment, has high consumer demand, and whose many uses, including both fiber and grains, create dependable markets for farmers. Peer-reviewed research and similar legislation passed by other states show us that hemp seed products are nutritious and safe in animal feed while making hemp farming and processing more economically viable. I am pleased to have worked with Senator Hinchey and the National Hemp Association on this legislation.”
Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “Hemp is an incredible agricultural commodity that is nearly untapped around the world, but here in New York, we have the opportunity to lead the sector in a way that creates a new and reliable marketplace for local farmers while helping us meet and exceed our Climate goals. Studies show that hemp seed can be used as a safe and nutrient-rich addition to animal feed that also saves farmers money, and I’m proud that my bill with Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo to establish this new commercial market is ready to be sent to the Governor’s desk for signature.”
Erica Stark, Executive Director, National Hemp Association, said, “We applaud the strong leadership of Assemblywoman Lupardo and Senator Hinchey in passing legislation that acknowledges the long and rich history of hemp grain as animal feed. Had hemp not been unjustly banned in 1958, it would have already been legally recognized as an approved ingredient under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. This important legislation not only provides more opportunities for New York farmers and expands hemp markets, but also provides excellent nutrition for pets and other companion animals.”