ALBANY — The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has announced that it will be conducting a series of free virtual training sessions, beginning on March 21, 2022, for individuals interested in becoming a Certified Hemp Sampling Agent. Sampling Agents are certified by the Department to work as independent contractors sampling hemp crops on farms throughout New York State, as outlined in New York State’s Hemp Licensing Program.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “New York State’s Hemp Licensing Programs provides growers with an avenue to diversify crops and tap into new markets, and Certified Hemp Sampling Agents are a key part of the program’s success. I encourage anyone interested and eligible to get trained and help this industry continue to thrive in New York.”
The training sessions are open to anyone over the age of 21. The sessions will be conducted via Microsoft Teams at 2:00 pm on Monday March 21, 2022; April 1, 2022; and April 13, 2022. After each training session, an open book multiple choice exam will follow. Successful candidates will be certified by the Department to collect regulatory hemp samples from licensed hemp growers and send the samples to an appropriate THC testing facility for compliance testing.
For more information about the training, call Charles Schmitt at (518) 457-2050 or email Charles.Schmitt@agriculture.ny.gov; or visit https://agriculture.ny.gov/plant-industry/sampling-agent-certification for more information on how to apply to become a Certified Hemp Sampling Agent.
About Hemp in New York State
In December, the Department’s Hemp Program Plan was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), replacing the state’s Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program. Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, all states interested in administering a state hemp program were required to submit a hemp program plan to the USDA. The Plan allowed the Department to continue to administer a hemp grower licensing program, starting in 2022. Under the new program, there are 100 licensed hemp growers currently in New York State. The Department is accepting applications on a rolling basis.
New York State 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. Since then, the State has joined with researchers, academics, businesses, and processors to develop strategies to advance research and grow the industry throughout the State. Over the duration of the program, the New York State Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program had nearly 800 authorized growers, and approximately 30,000 acres registered for growing industrial hemp.
“Hemp” means the plant species Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.
Processors of cannabinoid hemp or cannabidiol (CBD) are now regulated by the New York State Office of Cannabis Management. All inquiries related to those products should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org for response.
–New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets