New York State is now accepting applications to grow and research industrial hemp.

On Tuesday, officials in New York State announced an open solicitation for people and businesses interested in growing or processing industrial hemp to further grow the industrial hemp industry in New York State.

As part of New York's Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program, the Department of Agriculture and Markets is accepting applications for growers and processors of industrial hemp.

The Department is also accepting applications for the processing of industrial hemp as it relates to Cannabidiol (CBD). Applications can focus on research into the benefits and risks of CBD use for wellness purposes and to gauge its effectiveness.

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The application and additional information, including the Department’s CBD Research Partner Agreement can be found on the department’s website. Applications will be accepted until Dec. 28.

Hemp is a growing commodity for states across the nation, as both the stalk and seed from hemp can be used in the production of a variety of goods, including clothing, building materials, fuel, paper, and consumer products. Industrial hemp is defined by .3 percent THC or less, and nationally, industrial hemp products generate nearly $600 million per year in sales, officials say.

New York has an opportunity to lead industry growth by creating more opportunities for businesses to produce and manufacture the product,  according to the Department of Agriculture and Markets

This year, with the addition of more than 100 new research partners, approximately 3,500 acres of New York farmland have been approved for industrial hemp research.

Gov. Cuomo launched the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program in 2015, recognizing its potential impact on manufacturing, job creation, and the profitability of farms across New York State, officials say.

In addition, the department continues to accept applications for future research partners in the areas of grain and fiber on a rolling basis.