A new law signed by the governor of New York has boosted the state’s hemp industry with new regulations.
The measure, signed by Gov Cuomo, allows the state to regulate and growth and sale of hemp products which are now proving popular across the world.
The city won’t allow for a free-for-all on hemp, however- all growers, manufacturers, and extractors will need to obtain a license through the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Strict guidelines have been set regarding the labeling and testing of all products. New York is among the first states to establish a grading program for cannabis-derived products, assuring users with a degree of quality-control.
In a statement, Cuomo said: “The hemp industry in New York is exploding and with that growth comes a responsibility to regulate the industry in a way that helps ensure its long-term viability and protects consumers.
“By establishing a regulatory framework for producing and selling hemp and hemp extract we can set the industry on a path to continued growth in a smart, safe way that empowers both farmers and consumers.”
It is unclear whether CBD, a recent therapeutic phenomenon, will be able to be added to food and beverages under the law.
Cuomo also added that the state will host a summit to explore hemp-related policies in January.
The state recently decided to avoid legalizing the recreational use of medical marijuana.
Hemp, a derivative of the cannabis plant, does not have the same psychoactive effects on the body as marijuana does. That’s because it does not contain THC, the chemical responsible for the ‘high’ feeling.
Hemp was taken off the federally controlled substance list by Congress last year. Much of the hemp boom in New York was down to the 2018 passing of the Farm Bill.
The amount of hemp-licensed farms in New York has quadrupled in the last two years, with more than 400 now in operation. There are currently 18,000 acres of hemp awaiting harvest.
The Orange County Industrial Development Agency’s Accelerator recently turned some of its former Mid-Orange Correctional facility into a hemp processing and testing unit.
Hemp farmers take their crops to the facility to be made into CBD products which are currently taking the world by storm for their therapeutic effects and quick response on the body.
Speaking to NY Daily News, Laurie Villasuso, CEO of the Orange County IDA, said the hemp industry had “helped farmers across the Hudson Valley and has created businesses that hire New Yorkers and send products around the country.
“This is truly a win for New York,” she added.
CBD products are now used by over 64 million Americans to treat everything from anxiety all the way to chronic pain and acne. Microdosing has recently surged in popularity – a process where users take a smaller dose more regularly to keep CBD levels even in the body.
As more and more New Yorkers reach for hemp-based products, however, more will have to be done to research the long-term effects of usage. So far, federal regulators have only approved medical-grade CBD for treating two forms of severe epilepsy in the form of Epiolex.
It’s no question why farmers want to grow hemp, described as a ‘cash crop’ as the turnover is much quicker than that of food items, Christmas trees, and other plants. It is also said to involve less work and less of an investment.
While the average US farmer is 59.4 years old, it seems that the more experienced in the industry are just as interested in the crop as the younger ones.