ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Legislature passed a bill letting hemp growers get temporary, conditional licenses to cultivate and process adult-use cannabis. Sources said that, come spring 2023, adult-use cannabis will be sold in stores across the state.
“Our goal with this provisional licensing bill is that farmers who are interested in being in the cannabis business will be able to put a crop in the ground this year, and grow it through the summer,” explained Democratic Assemblymember Carrie Woerner. “And have it processed and ready to be distributed to the retail outlets and offered for sale in the springtime.”
Those eligible to obtain a temporary conditional license need to have a valid industrial hemp grower authorization and must have grown or harvested hemp for at least two years–something Beak and Skiff, a farm in Central New York has done.
“We see it as a huge opportunity for us to turn our facility into processing THC,” explained Eddie Brennan, President and Co-owner of Beak & Skiff. “Our processing facility that we have at Beak & Skiff, New York State required everything to be dietary supplement grade, so literally a facility like ours can be converted to process THC and that’s pretty exciting.”
If signed into law, The legislation would allow cannabis to be grown outdoors or in a greenhouse with up to 20 artificial lights. Both cultivator and processor licensees would be required to participate in a social equity mentorship program and an environmental sustainability program to help those interested in learning the industry.
“I think that’s really important too in how we help other people learn the skills we have learned over the years through the hemp program,” said Brennan.
While this bill did pass in both chambers, Assemblyman Chris Tague, voted against it since it includes an agreement that would allow workers to unionize. “The last thing we need on our family farms is organized labor,” said Tague. “It’s not the place.” The legislation now has to be delivered to Hochul so she can make an approval.