Lupardo Introduces Hemp Manufacturing Legislation

- Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo has introduced legislation that she says can help revitalize manufacturing in upstate New York.

It is focused on hemp.

The hemp she's talking about is a variety of cannabis, but has no recreational value, meaning that it can't be smoked like marijuana.

However, it does have industrial purposes and can be used in industry, for bio-fuel, building materials, textiles and personal products.

Lupardo says the United States imports hundreds of millions of dollars of the product from other countries where it's legal to grow for those purposes.

Lupardo's legislation has passed both the state assembly and senate and will be considered by the governor.

"It's a very important crop and could very well revitalize upstate manufacturing, because if we grow it we have to produce these products right here. It has nothing to do with marijuana for smoking purposes. It's a completely distinct, new, industrial crop, which used to be legal, up until the early 70s when it got caught up in the controlled substances act and was banned from being grown," said Lupardo.

Lupardo says the federal government is expected to allow the growing of industrial-use hemp once again within the next few years.

She says Kentucky recently started doing research on the issue, because it's looking for a replacement crop for tobacco.

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