The federal government has given New York’s cannabis industry a one-year extension for its hemp pilot program, reported New York Upstate.
The extension came after commissioner Richard Ball of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets declared that the state will not pursue the development of its own hemp plan unless the government extends the existing pilot programs until 2021, as per Hemp Grower.
New YorkCannabis Growers and Processors Association President Allan Gandelman said that the extension gives the sector «some breathing room.» The state’s cannabis industry has around 700 growers and 100 processors who will lose their valid operating permits should the pilot program end.
However, Gandelman noted that such a status leaves the industry and its staff in a «gray area.» Gandelman is the owner of Head + Heal, a Cortland-based company that grows and processes hemp.
He did acknowledge that the extension can help farmers saying, «At least now there’s some peace of mind, so hemp farmers can sleep at night».
Despite this, New York operators are still looking for a more stable and permanent set of rules and regulations.
Proceeding with hemp
While the extension will help, one important matter to be discussed by legislators is how to proceed in light of the current laws surrounding hemp.
According to the New York Upstate, there is «a lack of consensus between state regulators and the USDA.» Meanwhile, the 2018 Farm Bill mandated states to submit plans to the USDA to get approval for their pilot program proposal.
Hemp Pilot Program
Meanwhile, New York Upstate remarked that the state’s hemp sector is welcoming of the stricter requirements, as they assert that it could help uplift the quality of products coming from the state.