Broome’s First Industrial Hemp Crop Planted

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Partnership announced between growers, researchers and processors to bolster industry in Southern Tier

(TOWN OF UNION, NY) – Broome County’s first industrial hemp crop in over 80 years is in the ground at Nanticoke Gardens. The owners of Nanticoke Gardens joined Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, and Binghamton University’s School of Pharmacy Dean Dr. Gloria Meredith on Thursday to discuss their new partnership. They also announced that Southern Tier Hemp, a New York based company, plans to process the plants when harvested.

“We are very excited to finally have this crop in the ground,” said Pete Shafer, Owner and Partner of Nanticoke Gardens. “It’s the first major step in our collaboration with Binghamton University to work to create an industry from this potentially lucrative crop. We look forward to the opportunity to work with other farms to see if this crop may offer diversity to their existing farm products.”

“Binghamton University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences eagerly anticipates starting several projects in hemp-related research,” said Dr. Gloria Meredith, Dean of the Binghamton University Pharmacy School. “Products from hemp provide great promise for new therapies and cures that improve the lives of New Yorkers. This area of research has great potential.”

The Endicott farm will grow a certain type of hemp that yields high concentrations of cannabidiol, or CBD, that will be researched by Binghamton University to learn more about the crop’s medical applications. CBD is the oil derived from the industrial hemp plant; it has been highly sought after for its medicinal and nutritional benefits. Southern Tier Hemp obtained the plants from their research and processing partner in Kentucky.

Southern Tier Hemp will focus on bringing new genetics, products and partners into the state industrial hemp market. They were selected by Binghamton University as the school’s research and processing partner.

“We are thrilled to join the Upstate New York farming community and work closely with Nanticoke Gardens and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo on our inaugural crop. As a company with deep roots in the industrial hemp business, we are fully committed to developing products, sourced locally, that provide a range of health benefits to every member of the family,” said Michael P. Falcone, Co-founder and Chairman of Southern Tier Hemp. “Additionally, we are excited to partner with Binghamton University’s School of Pharmacy which the State selected to lead research on the benefits of cannabidiol, as we begin our journey in the area.”

New York State’s Industrial Hemp Program was initiated by legislation passed by Assemblywoman Lupardo in 2014. Since then, she has been at the forefront of this emerging industry across the state and has been working to bring this important partnership to her own community.

“I am thrilled to see the first industrial hemp plants growing in Broome County in more than 80 years,” said Assemblywoman Lupardo. “This terrific partnership between our grower, researcher and processor has a lot of economic potential for the area; this is exactly the type of collaboration I had in mind when I first started working on this several years ago. We are looking forward to a very successful first crop, so that we can see additional developments next year.”

Assemblywoman Lupardo’s 2014 legislation created the state’s first research pilot program. A 2016 bill authored by Lupardo expanded the program to allow for the transportation, processing, distribution, and sale of hemp grown for research. Yesterday, Governor Cuomo signed another of Lupardo’s bills that clarifies the status of industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity, establishes a working group to guide research and support industry development, and launches a one-stop shop hotline and webpage to help producers and processors navigate industry regulations and requirements.