New York passes bill allowing hemp growers to grow cannabis for adult use

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The New York Legislature has approved a bill that will allow state-licensed hemp growers to obtain advance conditional licenses to grow cannabis under the upcoming adult cannabis legalization program.

Farmers will be eligible for this measure if they already have a valid license to grow industrial hemp and have grown or harvested hemp for at least two years.

Democrat MP Carrie Woerner said the bill will allow growers to start their crops “this year and grow them through the summer to be ready for distribution to outlets and for sale in the spring.” .

Final licenses for 2023

Tremaine Wright, who runs the Cannabis Control Board of New York, said licensing would likely begin in the spring of 2023.

However, Chris Alexander, executive director of theOffice of Cannabis Management (OCM), said last week that authorities could release regulations for the sector in May this year, which would allow sales to open in spring 2023.

Grower and processor license holders would be required to participate in a social equity mentorship program and an environmental sustainability program. The bill also includes an agreement that allows cannabis farm workers to unionize.

In a statement, House Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said the bill will help the state “meet market demand for adult cannabis when retail dispensaries open their doors.” doors “.

“With the passage of this bill, we have an opportunity to create a responsible start to the adult-use cannabis industry by allowing temporary conditional cultivator and processor licenses to existing New York hemp growers.” , she said.

The measure would authorize the cultivation of cannabis outdoors or in greenhouses with up to 20 lamps. It will then be submitted for final approval by Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul.

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