BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — In the final day of the 2019 legislative session, the State Senate and Assembly passed bills (S-6184A/A-7680A).
It was part of a series of bills that were passed in the wake of the failure to legalize recreational marijuana.
This bill has to do specifically with placing more regulations on the growing hemp industry.
Right now, the state allows a permit to grow and research hemp only through the state’s Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program.
This new bill tightens those restrictions even further by making it necessary for growers, manufacturers, and extractors to all have a license.
It also creates the requirement for products being sold to have much more clear labels and a way for the consumer to know where the product is coming from — essentially they would be able to trace the product-extract back to the plant and farm it came from.
The bill also requires that New York State hemp processors use product grown from the state - keeping things close to home.
“This legislation creates a framework for developing and regulating this growing agricultural market to the benefit of New York farms while ensuring that consumers can trust that they are getting a quality, standardized product,” said Senator Jen Metzger, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Reggie Keith, founder and CEO of CannaHouse, says this new legislation is a good thing — and won’t affect businesses much who are doing things the “right way”.
But, he says there is the potential this creates a road bump for some by adding additional costs or regulations that are hard to keep up with, and it could disproportionately affect businessmen of color.
“We’re putting another hurdle in it with a regulation after you said something else is already the law,” said Keith. “It creates an issue where maybe our product is log jammed, or we are not compliant anymore, or now we are rushing to try and cut expenses to change and meet requirements in order to stay afloat.”
Keith says there should be transparency to give customers confidence in hemp-derived products, but says there has been a black market for years where this doesn’t exist.
“It’s about the money,” said CannaHouse marketing manager Valentino Shine, Jr.
The hemp business is booming in New York state and is projected to be in the multi-billion dollar range in the next couple of years.
Shine, Jr. doesn’t think this new legislation will slow that business down, but it will make sure everyone getting in is playing by the “state’s rules”.
“It’ll make business more tight, more effective, more efficient. Right now CBD is still in a grey area, and if you know how to wiggle between the lines then you can play in the grey area, too.”