New York legislators have introduced a bill that would legalize smokable hemp flower, something that was conspicuously left out of the state’s recent suite of hemp regulations.
Earlier this week, A2682/S4340 passed the state legislature’s Health Committee and advanced to the Codes Committee. The bill, introduced by State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and State Sen. Michelle Hinchey, proposes direct sales of hemp flower from producers to consumers.
Last fall, we spoke with Empire Standard CEO Kaelan Castetter, who said that much of the backlash against the state’s hemp and CBD regulations was focused on the flower ban. “It’s a bright spot in the marketplace,” he said, “and many people have been setting up to grow [flower].”
Allan Gandelman, president of the New York Cannabis Growers & Processors Association provided the following statement:
“The New York Cannabis Growers & Process Association is a coalition of New York based hemp growers and processors who actively advocate for laws and regulations that support and encourage a vibrant, diverse, and sustainable cannabis industry. We express our strong support for the passage of A-2682/S-4340 and our members recognize the urgent need to repair harmful regulations proposed by the NYS Department of Health that would prohibit the sale of hemp flower to the consumer.
“Hemp flower is among the most popular and fastest growing segments of the CBD market, and prohibition cuts off one of the only practical and lucrative avenues for growers. By preventing retailers from carrying hemp flower, farmers must rely on selling directly to processors at a significantly reduced per pound basis than if they sold flower.
“We thank Assemblywoman Lupardo and Senator Hinchey for their leadership in bringing these bills to the floor, as well as all of those legislators who have publicly expressed their support. The passage of this vital legislation will not only serve to help hemp growers, processors, and retailers in the midst of historic economic challenges – it will also allow consumers access to tested and safe hemp flower products.”
#Hemp farmers across NYS feel backed into a corner right now, and talk of a lawsuit should come as no surprise to anyone. We remain committed to pursuing a legislative fix to this problem. We need to pass the @DonnaLupardo - @MichelleHinchey #HempFlower Bill without delay. https://t.co/DAjUu1wSZl— NY Cannabis Growers & Processors Association (@ny_cgpa) February 10, 2021