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Principal Counsel & Attorney-at-Law
212-933-9420

New York

Licensure in New York through the Industrial Agricultural Research Pilot Program

In New York State, the only lawful way to grow and process hemp is through participation in New York's Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program, created under the 2014 Farm Bill, by receiving authorization as a research partner. There are three types of partner agreements: (1) the Grower Research Partner Agreement; (2) the Industrial Hemp Processor (non-CBD) Research Partner Agreement; and (3) the CBD Research Partner (CBD) Agreement.

Steps to Apply for Industrial Hemp Agricultural Pilot Program License

Applying if you are an Industrial Hemp Grower

New York State is accepting grower applications from businesses and individuals for the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program. Applications can be submitted in the areas of grain, fiber, and Cannabidiol (CBD). The Department of Health is not currently accepting CBD processor applications.

  1. Fill out the Industrial Hemp Grower Application
  2. Pay the non-waivable $500 application fee
  3. Collect the following materials
    • A description and map of each location where industrial hemp will be cultivated or possessed, by physical address and by GPS co-ordinates, visually depicting the buildings, structures, and improvements on the premises and identifying their use, and describing the relevant activities conducted at the location
    • A detailed research plan and summary of the issues and matters that the applicant intends to study in conjunction with growing, cultivating, or processing industrial hemp
    • A marketing plan
    • A seed/propagule acquisition plan
    • Statement of relevant experience of the individual responsible for the research project
  4. Submit an original copy of the application, application fee, and materials outlined in point 3 to:

NYS Dept. of Agriculture & Markets 
Plant Industry Division
10B Airline Drive
Albany NY 12235

To Amend Your Grower License

  1. Fill out the Grower Amendment Application
  2. Attach all relevant documents
    • A description and map of each location where industrial hemp will be cultivated or possessed, by physical address and by GPS co-ordinates, visually depicting the buildings, structures, and improvements on the premises and identifying their use, and describing the relevant activities conducted at the location
    • A detailed research plan and summary of the issues and matters that the applicant intends to study in conjunction with growing, cultivating, or processing industrial hemp
    • A marketing plan
    • A seed/propagule acquisition plan
    • Statement of relevant experience of the individual responsible for the research project
  3. Submit this information to:

NYS Dept. of Agriculture & Markets 
Plant Industry Division
10B Airline Drive
Albany NY 12235

Steps After the Application is Approved:

Upon the approval of the application, the applicant must then execute a Research Partner Agreement outlining the authorized scope of work, establishing the standards for the work, and defining the respective duties and obligations of the parties. Applicants must return the signed and notarized Research Partner Agreement to the Department. For guidance in executing a research agreement, contact the attorneys at Leaf Legal, P.C.

The application authorizes three years of participation in the Industrial Hemp Agricultural program with an option to renew (at least 60 days before the current authorization lapses.)

The New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets posits that the upcoming implementation of the USDA's hemp licensing program will terminate the Research Partner Agreements and shift the Research Partners structure to the new structure authorized by the USDA. Contact the attorneys at Leaf Legal, P.C. to help navigate the application process.

If you are a Hemp Processor:

  1. Fill out the Hemp Processor Application
  2. Include the $500 application fee in the form of a check. If paying by credit card, contact [email protected]re.ny.gov
  3. Include maps and GPS coordinates of each processing site
  4. Submit an original copy of the application, application fee, and maps to:

NYS Dept. of Agriculture & Markets 
Plant Industry Division
10B Airline Drive
Albany NY 12235

Which Factors can Disqualify an Application? (not exhaustive)

  • An incorrect or incomplete application
  • Poor research design
  • Lack of experience or qualification to undertake the proposed project
  • Recent drug-related felony or misdemeanor convictions of researchers
  • Proposing to use a growing or processing location already registered by an existing Research Partner
  • Inability of the Department to adequately supervise or regulate the proposed project
  • The proposed undertaking of medical research
  • The proposed use of processed CBD as a food additive or the processing of food in such a way to concentrate CBD content.

No matter what aspect of the hemp industry you intend to participate in, the attorneys at Leaf Legal, P.C. are able to help you navigate the in-flux hemp laws. 

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