Albany, NY As the 2019 legislative session wrapped up early Friday morning, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Senator Jen Metzger passed legislation that expands the states current industrial hemp law to regulate the production and marketing of hemp extracts such as the popular cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD. Hemp extracts are used in the production of tinctures, capsules, salves, dietary supplements, beverages, and other products.
While many hemp farmers have chosen to grow hemp for fiber and grain, many others are growing the type of hemp that produces extracts like CBD, said Assemblywoman Lupardo, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture. Because of increasing consumer demand and interest from farmers, processors and manufacturers, specific guidelines are needed to guarantee the safety of the complete supply chain.
Hemp cultivation offers a tremendous opportunity for our local and small farms in New York to diversify into this high-value crop, said Senator Metzger, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. This legislation provides a regulatory framework that will give our farmers and our nascent hemp industry the confidence they need to invest and take advantage of this enormous market opportunity, while also creating standards for CBD products that consumers can trust.
The bill establishes grower, manufacturer, and extractor licenses and requires the Department of Agriculture and Markets to craft new regulations for the production of extracts. Additionally, the legislation would ensure that products are laboratory tested and include labeling that would require a QR code that provides a link to important consumer information.
New Yorks first hemp crops were planted in 2016 as a result of legislation passed by Lupardo in 2014 four years ahead of legalization of the crop at the federal level. While the federal government continues to clarify its rules around hemp extracts, this latest hemp bill will help continue the rapid growth of New Yorks industry, while protecting producers and consumers along the way.
This new language will help make New York State a nationwide leader in progressive and responsible hemp policy, said Kaelan Castetter, CEO of CSG Hemp, member of the NYS Cannabis Growers & Processors Association. Not only will it create a safe and robust hemp industry, it will also protect and prioritize the small-scale and local hemp farmers, providing them with great economic opportunity to allow their businesses to grow and prosper. New York State is setting a global precedent not only for pioneering a much needed regulated hemp marketplace, but also for prioritizing one of our most vital industries: agriculture.
Gail Hepworth, CEO of Hempire State Growers, a farmer-focused cooperative consisting of over 30 multi-generational farmers from the Mid-Hudson Valley said, The hemp bill aligns well with our mission to build replicable, ethical, and sustainable practices in agriculture that significantly support the local economy. Senator Metzger and Assemblywoman Lupardo have been instrumental in ensuring that the interests of New York farmers are represented in their bill, which will provide a framework to allow farmers to actively contribute to and benefit from the development and expansion of the hemp industry.
New York State must position itself to take advantage of an expanding market for industrial hemp. The potential growth from the crop could provide needed diversification opportunities for farms, and New York Farm Bureau commends the legislative Agriculture Committee Chairs, Senator Jen Metzger and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, on the passage of legislation that will improve the permitting process for growers, processors and marketers. This will work to ensure the sale and production of industrial hemp meets requirements and testing standards safeguarding both producers and consumers, said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President.