Last Tuesday, hemp industry leaders across New York took part in "Hemp Action Day," calling upon Governor Cuomo to release much-needed regulations for the NYS Hemp Extract Bill.
Watch the full Empire Standard press conference below.
Hemp Action Day in New York
New York hemp industry leaders called on Governor Cuomo to release much-needed regulations during Hemp Action Day this past Tuesday. Six press conferences were held across the state as industry leaders and lawmakers voiced their concerns over the state of hemp in New York.
It has currently been over nine months since Governor Cuomo signed the Hemp Extract Bill into law, a highly progressive bill governing the production, distribution, and sale of hemp extracts in the state. Although its regulations are supposed to go into effect on January 1, 2021, Gov. Cuomo has still not released the regulations. This has caused great anxiety within the industry as leaders statewide are left wondering what they can and cannot produce.
Kaelan Castetter, CEO of Castetter Cannabis Group, Inc. and co-founder of the New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association, kicked off the press conference at Empire Standard in Binghamton, NY. Castetter was joined by County Executive Jason Garner and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, who co-authored the original hemp bill. Together, they spoke out about the lack of regulations and asked for Gov. Cuomo to guide the hemp industry forward.
“All these businesses across the state are asking for clarity and all we’re asking is for Governor Cuomo to fulfill his promise of making New York a leader and release the regs," Castetter remarked during the conference.
Support from Legislators
Assemblywoman Lupardo echoed the urgent need for regulations, citing safety issues - with no regulations, products marketed as hemp or CBD can be sold without any safety standards, causing serious public health concerns over mislabeled and potentially dangerous products.
“Right now, you have no clue what you’re buying," she stressed. “Investors, farmers, businesses of every type, processors, manufacturers, retailers, every step in the supply chain is waiting to see what these rules and regulations will look like.”
County Executive Jason Garner spoke on the economic stagnation of the hemp industry. “The fact that this bill was passed eight or nine months ago, and we’re still waiting for the regulations to be put out, is incredibly frustrating… We need to grow jobs here.”
The Need for Regulations
With no regulations, businesses have no guidance for their operations. Lingering questions remain surrounding CBD in food and beverages, the legality of smokable flower, how to label supplements, and what enforcement may look like. A lack of clear labeling and manufacturing guidelines has resulted in producers guessing at what may be required. This has put many businesses at risk - by not knowing what they can and cannot produce, producing non-compliant products could jeopardize their operations.
With a lack of regulations at the federal level, New York has the opportunity to step in and fill the regulatory void. If Governor Cuomo releases the regulations immediately, New York will allow its hemp industry to grow and would establish itself as the nationwide leader in hemp and hemp extracts.
As of September 17, no further developments have been made. Industry leaders nevertheless remain optimistic that Governor Cuomo will heed the call and provide the industry with much-needed regulations.