Bill to Legalize Hemp Advances in New York Senate

Legislation that would completely legalize hemp in New York has advanced to its third and final reading in the Senate.

A legislative proposal to legalize hemp, removing it entirely from the state’s list of illegal substances, has moved on to its third Senate reading. If the Senate approves the bill through its third reading, it will go to the House of Representatives. The House giving the proposal its OK would allow Governor Cuomo to consider it. Proponents are hopeful that if given the chance, Cuomo will sign the measure into law. The optimism comes in large part to the governor’s recent expansion of the state’s industrial hemp research program.

Speaking in more specific terms, Senate Bill 8072 would amend state law so that “Industrial hemp does not include plants of the genus Cannabis that meet the definitions of “concentrated cannabis” or “marihuana” as defined in subdivisions four and twenty-one of section thirty-three hundred two of the public health law respectively.”

The law would define hemp as having no more than 0.3% THC, the same standard used in Canada where hemp is legal throughout the country.

Senate Bill 8072 was filed by Senator Thomas Omara, a Republican.

Emily Watkins is a PhD student majoring in public policy. Emily has been a freelance editor for numerous websites, and has spent hundreds of hours volunteering to help legalize marijuana. She currently resides in Los Angeles, and can be reached at

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