The New York Cannabis Growers & Processors Association (NYCGPA) provided formal comments on the state’s proposed hemp and CBD regulations, using the opportunity primarily to advocate for hemp flower in the commercial market.
The state of New York released its regulations in October, charting a course toward clarity on how CBD may be used in food, beverages and dietary supplements. Smokable hemp flower, however, was left off the table. For the NYCGPA, this is a sticking point.
“The ability for farmers to access multiple streams of commerce for the products that they grow provides a key mechanism to diversify income streams in an already tight margined business,” according to the comment. “Hemp flower is among the most popular and fastest growing segments of the CBD market, and the prohibition cuts off the only practical and lucrative avenue 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.”
As a spokesperson explained in a message to Hemp Grower, the pillars of the NYCGPA’s comments include:
- Developing a policy that will allow the sale of flower in retail;
- Removing the state’s ability to cap THC in products lower than the federal limit;
- Overreaching label requirements that include THC warnings, font size minimums, a listing of minor cannabinoids, and marketing restrictions;
- Lowering license fees for retailers and processors and adding a license class for retails who do farmers markets and special events;
- Reducing the burden on retailers in regards to record-keeping;
- Removing the ban on transdermal patches;
- Creating the Hemp Working Group.
The public comment period ends this week.
“The governor and legislature in their wisdom saw an opportunity in this new industry to create direct input that will only enhance the regulations and develop the industry,” according to the comment. “The NYCGPA urges the [Department of Health] to create the working group to continue the dialogue and continue creating a world-class hemp industry for New York state.”