BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - New York State is ramping up its effort to produce industrial hemp in the Southern Tier.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $3.2 million initiative to start a hemp processing plant in the Southern Tier.
Thursday, while at the Lieutenant Governor's event, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo discussed details for the processing facility.
Lupardo, who has led the charge for industrial hemp in our area, says the State will begin by investing $650,000 for the processing facility at an undetermined location.
The facility will process varieties of industrial hemp by extracting the fiber and oils from the hemp to prepare it for manufacturing.
Lupardo says agriculture has been a big economic driver in our area.
"We've all recognized the importance of the agricultural sector in our community. It's not the end all, be all but it's a very important development that we are promoting," said Lupardo.
Last July, Nanticoke Gardens planted 15,000 hemp plants as part of a partnership between Nanticoke and Binghamton University.
BU will also research its medicinal benefits.
Regarding the processing plant, Lupardo says the investment may have to be scaled up to meet demand.
It is slated to open sometime this year.
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