ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Applications are open for researchers, farmers and businesses looking to participate in New York's fledgling industrial hemp industry.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the industry has the potential to provide a major economic boost to farms and rural communities.

In July, the Democratic governor announced $10 million in state funds to boost industrial hemp research and development.

Hemp is a variety of cannabis but doesn't contain the level of active compounds found in marijuana. Nonetheless, efforts to grow it for use in textiles, food supplements and other products have long been hampered by anti-drug laws.

New York launched a pilot program last year for hemp farming and expanded it this year. The state agriculture department will accept applications to join the program until Nov. 22.