New York’s fast-growing hemp industry is getting a boost from a new law allowing the state to regulate the growth and sale of cannabis-derived extracts such as CBD oil, which is soaring in popularity as a wellness product.
Broad-ranging legislation signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday sets strict guidelines for product testing and labeling and requires hemp growers and processors to obtain a license through the state Department of Agriculture and Markets. It also sets registration requirements for sellers of hemp extract products. But it defers decision-making on hemp extracts such as cannabidiol, or CBD, as food or beverage additives.
Hemp entrepreneurs welcomed the new law, which was developed in consultation with industry leaders.
“It’s very significant that we have a framework in place. That’s crucial,” said George Sewitt, senior vice president of operations for NY Hemp Source and urbanXtracts, which grows hemp in Orange County for cannabidiol, or CBD. “The most important thing is that we’ll get rid of the bad actors and snake oil salesmen.”
Cuomo said the state will host a hemp summit in January to further develop policies related to the industry.
“The hemp industry in New York is exploding and with that growth comes a responsibility to regulate the industry in a way that helps ensure its long-term viability and protects consumers,” Cuomo said in a statement.
“This legislation provides important consumer protections, while giving a clear direction for the hundreds of farmers, processors and manufacturers who have made substantial investments in this new industry,” said Assembly member Donna Lupardo, one of the bill’s sponsors.
More than 400 New York farms were licensed this year to grow industrial hemp, the non-psychoactive form of the cannabis plant. About 100 processors are licensed in New York to produce hemp extracts that are used in tinctures, lotions and other products.
New York’s legislation comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is evaluating how to regulate CBD.
“The FDA is creating an untenable situation for the industry by moving so slowly,” said Joy Beckerman, principal of Hemp Ace International, a New York-based hemp consulting and brokering firm. “New York and other states are leading by setting standards and creating a regulatory framework for the industry.”