The state enacted legislation this week establishing a regulatory framework for the production and sale of hemp and hemp extract in New York State. The measure also requires the hemp industry to test and label their products, protecting consumers from potential harm. The governor also announced that New York state will host a hemp summit in January to further develop policies and priorities related to this burgeoning industry.
Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, of the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee, has introduced a bill to preserve and protect honey bee swarms and colonies from human threats, and support crop pollination across New York state.
New York state farms generated $5.7 billion in revenue in 2017, representing an increase of more than 20 percent in net farm income over the precious decade despite a decline in their number and acreage, according to a report released last month by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
New York state has awarded more than $900,000 to new and early-stage farmers around the state, to help them expand production or advance innovative agricultural techniques that increase sustainability.
On the last day of the 2019 legislative session, state lawmakers passed the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, granting farm workers long-denied protections. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he will sign the legislation, which opponents argue will cause "irreparable harm" to an industry that is already struggling.
Authorities said Friday they raided hundreds of black market marijuana operations in Colorado that flouted the state's cannabis law by growing tens of thousands of plants in Denver-area homes and selling the drugs out of state.
Investigators seized more than 80,000 plants and 4,500 pounds (2,040 kilograms) of harvested marijuana, state and federal prosecutors said at a news conference. Officers raided 247 homes and eight businesses and arrested 42 people in Denver and seven nearby counties.
Three upcoming public hearings have been scheduled by two state Senate committees to gather feedback and information on a law, long opposed by the agricultural industry, to extend worker protections and rights — such as a 40-hour work week and paid overtime — to agricultural workers who were initially denied those rights under the FDR administration as the result of a compromise with Southern segregationists.
Several Democratic presidential candidates will make their case to Iowa farmers on Saturday — part of a broader effort to win over rural voters who have drifted to Republicans in recent years.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota are among the White House hopefuls who will attend the Heartland Forum in Storm Lake, Iowa. They're likely to tout proposals they released this week aimed at helping rural communities.