Supervisors urge state, federal officials to support hemp

B y Derek Liebig

The Washington County Board of Supervisors is hoping to a plant a seed in the minds of state and federal officials that would foster the growth of industrial hemp in the agrarian county.

Supervisors on Friday passed a resolution urging state and federal lawmakers to declassify industrial hemp as a controlled substance so that local farmers can grow the fiber.

Hartford Supervisor Dana Haff, who has been advocating since this fall for the growth of industrial hemp in the county, authored the resolution.

“There has been a falsehood for 75 years that hemp is a drug. It is not,” Hartford Supervisor Dana Haff said. “Why should something be illegal if it does no harm.”

Hemp, a form of cannabis, is considered a controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, and is illegal to grow despite the fact that it does not possess the psychoactive properties of Marijuana. However, in August, the federal government released a memo announcing it not pre-empt state laws related to the growth of hemp.

That has paved the way for states to allow and regulate the growth of hemp. Vermont recently passed a law enabling allowing farmers to grow and market the plant.

“Vermont realizes the potential of hemp and I think New York state should do the same,” Haff said.

Hemp is used in a variety of products, including food, building materials, rope, and paper. Nearly a dozen car manufacturers, including Ford, GM, Porsche and Chrysler, use a mixture of hemp, fiberglass and flax in the production of composite panels in their automobiles.

Haff described hemp as high-value, low-input crop that could be easily grown in the county.

“Hemp is a very good rotational crop that grows well where corn grows. It’s an economically friendly crop,” he said.

Retail sales of hemp products in the United States during 2012 are estimated to be over $500 million and the substance is grown in Canada, China and Europe.

However, some supervisors questioned how profitable hemp would be in the county.

Greenwich Supervisor Sara Idelman, who was one of four supervisors to vote against the resolution (Granville Supervisor Matt Hicks, Hebron Supervisor Brian Campbell and Putnam Supervisor John LaPointe also voted against the resolution; Easton Supervisor John Rymph abstained), said there needed to be a more comprehensive discussion with farmers and potential growers.

“There’s a lot more to consider, like infrastructure and processing. We need to have more discussion with producers,” she said, adding that she may not be against the idea in the future after it had been explored further.

“If we pass this what would the negative consequence be,” Jackson Supervisor Alan Brown asked. “All we are doing is saying this is an option we would like to take further.”

Copies of the resolution, which Haff said is the first of its type passed in New York state, will be sent to a number of state and federal officials including the Attorney General of the United States, the United States Secretary of Agriculture, Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Senator Betty Little among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , ,

518 Wheels – 06/19/17

Alumnus tells school board: Whitehall falling short

John Diekel

By Matthew Saari Newly minted Air Force Lieutenant John Diekel made an appearance before the Whitehall Board of Education Monday […]

Berke wins Granville School Board runoff

Philip A. Berke

By Krystle S. Morey Philip A. Berke won the ninth and final seat on the Granville Board of Education Tuesday […]

Waters wins Whitehall School Board runoff

Roxanne Waters won the final seat on the Whitehall School Board in a runoff election June 20.

By Matthew Saari Roxanne Waters claimed the ninth and final Whitehall Board of Education seat Tuesday night, garnering 145 votes […]

Busty’s causes a stir

The owner of Busty's Brew and BBQ in Whitehall decided to edit his sign after receiving flack from local officials.

By Matthew Saari The provocative mascot with her plunging neckline at Busty’s Brew and Barbecue Pit in Whitehall is at […]

Northshire Freepress – 06/16/17

Northshire_6_16_17.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 06/16/17

Lakes_6_16_17.pdf-web.pdf

North Country Freepress – 06/16/17

FreePress_6_16_17.pdf-web.pdf

Weekender – 06/16/17

Weekender 6_16_17.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Classifieds – 06/16/17

Lakes_6_16_17.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 06/12/17

518 Wheels 6_12_17.pdf-web.pdf

Vietnam veteran to graduate with Class of 2017

Vietnam veteran Walter “Buddy” Hughes will receive his diploma with the Granville High School Class of 2017 at graduation next Friday.

By Krystle S. Morey Walter “Buddy” Hughes was drafted by the U.S. Army in 1963, the same year he was […]