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New York Hemp Growers Gear up for Adult-Use Market

ny hemp farmers

Because of the benefits of cannabis, the controversial substance is on its way to being commercially sold for adult use. Many states have decriminalized the use of this substance that was once prohibited. New York’s top cannabis regulator stated that adult-use cannabis products would soon be available from conditional growers come the fall. The report came a few weeks after officials legalized growing hemp in NY (70) and awarded conditional cannabis cultivation licenses to more than 50 licensed farmers and companies. 

New updates in New York

When it comes to hemp farming in NY (30), the growers affected by low prices and a dip in the market have enthusiastically responded when they found out that they could get another chance to grow marijuana. In February 2022, NY Governor Kathy Hochul signed the law into legislation allowing hemp growers to get an early chance to supply recreational marijuana when sales launch later this year or in the early part of 2023.

The most recent count for licenses issued to conditional adult-use cultivators is 52. The main objective of these licenses is to speed up the processing and cultivation of recreational marijuana to avoid shortages or delays. Another objective is to boost the diversity in the marijuana industry.

New York distinguishes itself as having the 1st marijuana program regulated by the state that allows licensed growers of hemp to get their initial licenses to cultivate marijuana for adult use. The co-founder of Tricolla Farms, based in Berkley, New York, Brittany Carbone, said, “This is a fantastic opportunity. But anybody who’s been in the hemp industry and understands the cannabis industry is approaching it with cautious optimism, to say the very least.”

New York ranked number 4 in hemp producing indoors last year based on square footage. It produced 12,549 lbs of hemp flower. NY growers planted approximately 900 acres outdoors and harvested 200 acres. The margin for hemp growers is significantly lower than for growers of marijuana. For hemp grown outdoors, the national average sale price in 2021 was $39.60 for each pound of hemp flower. But the growers of marijuana in newly-regulated markets can sell their marijuana flowers for up to 4 times more than that for each pound.

This data shows that growing marijuana seems to be more beneficial. According to the founder of Ananda Farms in Fulton, New York, Sarah Stenuf, this presents a big opportunity since hemp isn’t considered a hot commodity at the moment.

Licensing changes

The adult-use cannabis legislation has been recently passed by New York. It will usher in other significant jurisdictions that affect growing hemp in NY (70) with systems only meant for medical use like the ones in Pennsylvania and Florida. The bill now awaits its implementation, making it the perfect time for those interested in hemp farming in NY (30)and entering the cannabis market to prepare for their applications. Because of the current conditions, nobody expects new businesses to open for at least one year. But the applicable regulations will already get published, and processing licenses will happen sooner. Within a couple of weeks, the national cannabis Law team of Fox Rothschild, led by the New York group, will provide comprehensive insights into the different aspects of the new law. They will cover various issues, including real estate, labor provisions, and social equity.

Licenses are the defining asset on which market entrants, from established Multi-State Operators to Single State Operators, get focused upon, thus making them a practical starting point. While NY has allowed such great opportunities, Albany took a different path. The officials of Albany clearly specified their multifaceted intent to leverage the expansion of the industry. They have several reasons, including the remediation of social injustices, to benefit the major industry and small businesses, and to grow the agricultural sector of New York.

But the legislation doesn’t specify the number of licenses it will make available for each of the categories. But it does aim to grant a minimum of 50% of available microbusinesses, nurseries, and delivery licenses to disenfranchised and minority groups, including businesses owned by women, service-oriented veterans, and disadvantaged farmers. The goal here is to promote economic and social equity.

The licensing process has an official outline along with a complete list of the categories of the issued licenses. Since there are a lot of different types of licenses that will be simultaneously launched, it’s important for those who want to apply to have a good understanding of the many processes, limitations, and opportunities.

Keeping the consumers protected

The aim of the regulations regarding growing hemp in NY (70) and the cannabis business is to bring order back into the marketplace. There is a need to standardize products for consumers to get assurances that the products on the shelves adhere to the information written on the labels. These rules will improve hemp farming in NY (30) and provide the industry with a clearer path toward the commercialization of the hemp industry.

According to Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, most consumers didn’t even know what they bought. Lupardo leads the Assembly Agriculture Committee. She also spearheaded the effort to develop New York’s hemp industry for the past six years. Under the new rules, all the aspects of the supply chain of the hemp industry would require licensing and regulation under the support of the state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Health. 

Cannabis products on the shelves should adhere to strict codes for labeling, which will give the consumers the ability to trace the origin of the products from the farms to the stores. While CBD producers feel optimistic, they still let their assessments guide them. One businessman named Ed McCauley considers the new regulations a “great start” for the hemp industry in New York. Together with Adam Kurtz, a former flower farmer, they run the Fusion Holding Group in Orange County, New York, and in Oregon. Michael Geraci, another businessman in the field, said that there would be better quality products sold in New York because of the new regulations. Geraci is co-owner of the Hemp Farms of New York, based in Orange County, which is another early CBD maker and hemp grower.

With the establishment of strict regulations, New York hopes to set high standards for the future. Assemblywoman Lupardo said that establishing New York as a leader in the industry will allow the products from home-grown producers to be the best ones sold in the market.

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