Using hemp for packaging cannabis products makes a lot of sense, and New York State Senator Michelle Hinchey wants to make it law in New York.
Senator Hinchey announced new legislation (S.7508) last week, which she says will launch a sustainable and lucrative industrial hemp industry in her state. If passed, the bill would see the New York State Cannabis Control Board (CCB) develop a plan to make industrial hemp a featured material for all cannabis products manufactured in the state. . Under Senate Bill 7508, cannabis packaging materials will need to incorporate at least 30 percent hemp.
In addition, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and Empire State Development (ESD) would be responsible for creating the “Sustainable Cannabis Packaging Incubator Program”. This initiative would offer financial incentives to farmers and cannabis companies involved in the development of hemp-based packaging materials.
“Eco-friendly industrialized hemp is the future of manufacturing and I look forward to getting my bill passed in the 2022 session so New York can lead the way in this emerging market,” said Senator Hinchey.
Senator Hinchey has made the bill one of his top priorities for the 2022 session.
The potential of hemp as a source of packaging is diverse given its very high cellulose content. Besides paper, cardboard and textile based packaging materials made from hemp shavings and bast fibers, the plant can also be used to create hemp plastics. In addition to being biodegradable and created from a renewable resource, hemp bioplastics are strong, thermally and UV stable, and lightweight.
Hemp-based plastic packaging can often be produced using the same equipment that is used to make petroleum-based plastic packaging for food and drink – and the same is true for paper products. /cardboard
“There is no other natural resource that offers the same environmental, agricultural and economic potential as hemp,” said the senator.
If this were to happen in New York, there could be positive ripple effects across the country; with technologies and products developed that lower the cost of hemp packaging. And, where New York City leads, other states and jurisdictions can follow.