Jim Castetter & Kaelan Castetter
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 After two years of success, the federal government repealed his label approval citing the use of the word "hemp".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.
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.
Leading the Way.
Using our knowledge of the market, regulations, and the cannabis culture; we have become a trusted source of expertise for policymakers, entrepreneurs, and the community.
The Castetter Cannabis Group strongly believes in helping to solve the knowledge gap through our weekly newsletter, thought leadership in the media, publishing policy reports, and advisement of New York's future industry leaders.
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.
Leading the Castetter Cannabis Group, Kaelan has become a trusted advisor to some of the top hemp companies, lawmakers, and organizations across the State.
Kate Hruby, MPA
Director of Policy Analysis
Kate leads CCG's efforts to help, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and priority applicants plan for the multi-billion dollar adult-use cannabis industry. She brings nearly eight years of combined experience in public policy research and analysis, legislative outreach, report preparation, and professional writing to the policy analysis team.
Kate earned a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of South Carolina, where she was named the 2017 Max Holland and Mitch Sizemore Scholar. Her prior roles include Legislative Liaison for South Carolina Women and Leadership, Research Director of the South Carolina Senate’s Family and Veterans’ Services Committee, and education reporter for The Index-Journal, among others.
Director of Cultivation
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.
Financial & 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
We help you build successful advocacy campaigns that center your voice in the regulatory & legislative processes.
Our team will also assist your business in forming impactful relationships with local officials and municipalities.
Regulatory & Strategic Analysis
The current and future regulatory outlook affects almost all aspects of decision making for cannabis operations. Our expert team will help to guide you with fully researched insights, analysis, and regulatory forecasting - setting your business up for success.
Adult-Use Application Writing
From security and compliance to social equity plans, our experienced team will put your business in the best position to receive licensure.
Prepare your business for entrance into the volatile cannabis market through careful planning, market data, and professional financial models.