New York Governor Vetoes Bills To Allow Hemp Seed In Animal Feed, Calling On State To Collect ‘More Information’ On Safety

The governor of New York has vetoed a pair of bills that would have allowed hemp seeds to be included in animal feed for pets, horses and camelids such as llamas and alpacas—citing a lack of information about the safety of such uses, which she wants the state to study in an “expeditious manner.”

The Senate and Assembly passed the legislation months ago, but the bills were only formally transmitted to Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) late last month. While she’s strongly advocated for the state’s hemp industry, the governor said in a veto message on Friday that the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved adding hemp seed to animal feed, and so “more information is required.”

“To that end, I am directing the Department of Agriculture and Markets to work with Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to research the impacts of the use of hemp seed or hemp seed products in animal feed,” Hochul wrote. “This study is to be completed in an expeditious manner to better inform the industry on the questions raised by the potential for expanded use of hemp products.”

The now-vetoed measures specified that the industrial hemp seed that could be added to certain animal feed included seed hulls and seed meal. Supporters said that the cannabis products could be a nutritious additive that’s high in protein and fiber.

The legislation was similar to measures that have been enacted in Montana and Pennsylvania, and it’s backed by the National Hemp Association.

“Protecting industrial hemp production in New York will encourage greater production and research into the myriad uses of this plant, including as a renewable building material,” the text says. “It will also open the door for small, New York-based animal food processors to establish this marketplace before hemp seeds are authorized far use in commercial feed nationally.”

A fiscal note says that the legislation could ultimately increase tax revenue for the state because of “increased sales of New York hemp seed product and commercial feed.”

The bills would not have extended the hemp seed additive authorization to other commercial livestock, presumably due to regulatory complications related to adding items to feed for animals that are used for human consumption.

That said, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently found that cows that are fed hempseed cake retain very low concentrations of THC and CBD in their bodies, indicating that meat products from hemp-fed cattle are safe for human consumption.

Another federally funded study published last year found that feeding cows hemp reduces their stress. Researchers have also looked into how CBD affects stress and pain in horses.

FDA sent warning letters to a series of businesses marketing CBD products for animals last year, cautioning that there’s a “lack of data on what levels of potential residues are safe for a person consuming the foods that come from CBD-treated animals.”

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.—

Back in New York, regulators are aiming to simultaneously implement adult-use marijuana legalization while expanding the state’s existing medical cannabis program, with licensing applications open for both markets for the next week.

Much of the attention in New York has focused on the adult-use cannabis legalization rollout, including recent settlement agreements approved by the state Supreme Court and the subsequent lifting an injunction that’s blocked regulators from licensing additional recreational shops.

Amid the protracted rollout, illicit cannabis operators have proliferated across the state, prompting the governor to announce that they would be “ramping up” enforcement.

In October, the New York Senate Cannabis Subcommittee, which was established in April and is being chaired by Sen. Jeremy Cooney (D), heard from witnesses and discussing potential legislative solutions to the state’s ongoing cannabis legalization implementation problems.

Meanwhile, Hochul recently signed legislation that attempts to make it somewhat easier for financial institutions to work with state-licensed cannabis clients.

She also signed a separate bill that’s meant to provide tax relief to New York City marijuana businesses that are currently blocked from making federal deductions under an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code known as 280E.

While Hochul signed a an earlier budget bill last year that included provisions allow state-level cannabis business tax deductions—a partial remedy to the ongoing federal issue—New York City has its own tax laws that weren’t affected by that change. The new measure is meant to fill that policy gap.

As part of the state’s effort to speed consumer access to legal marijuana, regulators also launched a program, known as the Cannabis Growers Showcase (CGS), an initiative of OCM that allows licensed growers and processors to sell directly to consumers.

Regulators voted to approve that program in July and quickly began accepting applications. The first pop-up event kicked off in the Hudson Valley in August, and another was held down the road from this year’s state fair.

In September, 66 state lawmakers—about a third of the entire state legislature—also wrote to Hochul urging her to sign a bill that would allow licensed marijuana producers to sell products to tribal retailers. The plan would offer a release valve to hundreds of cannabis farmers who are currently sitting on surpluses but have no place to sell their products.

Meanwhile, New York regulators are working to debunk what they say is the “false” narrative that cannabis is commonly contaminated with fentanyl—a “misconception” that remains “widespread” despite a lack of evidence. OCM recently put out a factsheet on the issue, acknowledging that while fentanyl has been found in drugs like MDMA and heroin, anecdotal claims about marijuana laced with the potent opioid are so far unfounded.

The state’s Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) also recently revised guidance around THC testing for people in treatment for substance use disorder, advising marijuana screening only in cases where “the patient has identified a reduction in, or cessation of cannabis as part of their treatment goals.”

Last month, on the post-Thanksgiving Black Friday, regulators encouraged people to take advantage of the deals and support small businesses by shopping for cannabis at licensed retailers.

Read the governor’s veto message on the hemp seed and animal feed legislation below:

Missouri GOP Lawmakers File Bills To Legalize Psilocybin Therapy And Fund Clinical Trials For 2024 Session

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

 Read More Feedzy 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *