New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a landmark bill that will give the state’s hemp industry a major boost. Passed on Monday, the legislation allows the state of New York to regulate the growth and sale of products containing hemp extracts.
“The hemp industry is exploding, and with that growth comes a responsibility to regulate the industry in a way that helps to ensure its long term viability and protects consumers,” he says.
Hemp is an insanely versatile cash crop, with an almost uncountable number of industrial applications. However, hemp has been trending lately, not because of its industrial uses, but because of hemp extract cannabidiol (CBD).
The compound is a potent natural medicine with tons of medical applications. For the past few years, consumers have been using it to counter conditions such as anxiety, high blood pressure, and chronic pain.
Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a CBD-based drug to manage seizures in two rare and hard to manage pediatric epilepsies, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and Dravet Syndrome.
The bill, though a win for New York hemp farmers, didn’t approve cannabidiol as a food supplement. According to a statement from the governor’s office, the office ‘defers decision making on hemp extracts, including CBD, as additives for food and beverages.’
Previous versions of the bill had a provision that allowed up to 20mg of CBD in beverages, but the bill signed on Monday by the governor does not allow CBD in food. “They are kicking the can down the road on beverages and food,” says Allen Gandelman, President of the New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association.
Since the 2018 Farm Bill made cultivating industrial hemp legal, the amount of CBD products on the market has grown at a staggering rate. Although the FDA has cautioned companies against marketing and selling CBD as a food additive or supplement, the practice still continues.
At the moment, there are more than 400 farms licensed to grow hemp in New York, an increase from the 100 farms that were licensed for hemp production last year.
The new legislation lays out procedures for licensing industrial hemp growers and extract manufacturers, and it establishes testing and labeling requirements that some say are the strictest in the country.
Still, Gandelman is happy. “The spirit of the bill creates standards and safety protocols for producers,” he says. “Pushing standards forward is good for the industry,” he adds.
It is believed that hemp industry actors like Hemptown USA and Neutra Corp. (OTC: NTRR) are glad that the state of New York has finally enacted a hemp law to join the ranks of states benefitting from this plant.
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