OUR STORY

Kaelan Castetter and Jim Castetter 1997

Jim Castetter & Kaelan Castetter

circa 1998

It starts with hemp wine in 1997.

Jim Castetter founded the first hemp infused wine, Hemp Wine America, in 1997. The company enjoyed break-out success, with distribution from coast-to-coast. After two years of success, the federal government repealed his label approval citing the use of the word "hemp".

In 2015, Kaelan Castetter, Jim’s son, began exploring the legality of bringing hemp wine back to the market. He was also met with steep opposition from federal agencies. Undeterred, the duo successfully proved to New York State that according to the DEA's own rulings, non-psychoactive hemp ingredients were allowed in alcohol.

 

In 2017, the wine hit shelves once again and their company was awarded New York's first processing license.  

Hemp Wine Background

New York strives to become a national leader.

In 2015, Assemblymember Donna Lupardo (D-123) recognized the potential of hemp and moved to create the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. As one of the State's first hemp operations, Kaelan and Jim worked closely with Lupardo to help cultivate a vision of the Empire State becoming a global leader for hemp.

To help businesses, regulators, professional services providers, and the public understand the constantly changing regulatory environment - the Castetter Cannabis Group was formed. 

Our small but experienced team has quickly become a leader in ensuring fair policy was implemented, working closely with lawmakers, regulators, and the Governor's Office. 

In 2019, we became founding members of the New York Cannabis Growers & Processors Association, a powerful voice in Albany on hemp and adult-use legalization.  

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Reliable insights. 

Our team of analysts, researchers, and experts are constantly reading through new legislation and regulations that affect the cannabis industry here in New York, nationwide, and globally. 

We take the time to comb through dense bill text and regulations to gain a true understanding, then utilize our industry knowledge to deliver relevant insights and analysis that matter to you.

 

 Rely on our team to keep you up-to-date and in the know.

 
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OUR TEAM

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Aldous Loyd

Cultivation Analyst 

Aldous is an expert in the genetic development and cultivation of cannabis. He has a lifetime of experience spearheading commercial growing operations throughout North America. His scientific knowledge combined with years of practical experience has honed his careful approach to the cultivation of industrial hemp. His insights are critical to forming analysis that affects cultivators and farmers.

Kaelan Castetter

Director of Policy Analysis

Kaelan has been in the New York cannabis industry since 2015 as the founder of Sovereign Vines: America’s Only Hemp Infused Wine. When the company received New York’s first hemp processing license, they were stymied by federal rulings on adding hemp extracts to alcohol. Kaelan successfully argued that those rulings were inconsistent with Administrative Rules Procedures and was able to secure the first wine label approval in New York State Liquor Authority history. Kaelan is also a co-founder of the New York Cannabis Growers & Association, a lobbying group heavily involved in discussions around adult-use legislation and helped to draft the landmark Hemp Extract Law in 2019.

Kaelan has become a trusted advisor to some of the top hemp companies, lawmakers, and organizations across the State.

Amman Weaver

Risk & Market Analyst 

Amman began his career pioneering the design of operational risk scenarios at Barclays Investment Bank. Prior to that, he received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from the State University of New York at Geneseo. Specializing in corporate finance, business strategy & risk management, his skillset helps to advise clients in best practices for navigating the nascent cannabis industry. His input is valuable in shaping our analysis of how complex regulatory frameworks relate to operational risk.