Makers of hemp extract products urge Cuomo to release forthcoming law's regulations now

Sep 15, 2020

Producers of hemp extracted products are urging the Cuomo Administration not to wait until November, and release the regulations set forth in the state's Hemp Extract Law, which takes effect in January. Producers and retailers say they need adequate time to prepare so they may comply.

Producers and partners, coordinated by the New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association, staged a "Hemp Action Day" statewide Tuesday.

Tony Ferro of Bison Botanics listens to a question inside their Kenmore facility Tuesday, during a statewide "Hemp Action Day" campaign which urged the governor to release the regulations by which they'll need to comply when the new Hemp Extract Law takes effect January 1, 2021. Producers including Bisons Botanics say they want to be able to operate properly but need ample time to prepare.
Credit Michael Mroziak, WBFO

"We strive to use New York State produced CBD, derived from New York State grown hemp," said Sean Connors of Bison Botanics, a two-year-old company based in Kenmore. "We want more transparency in what we can and can't make. We can't do that without the regulations from the state. We're being held back with moving forward without any clear cut guidance or regulations."

The Hemp Extract Law (Senate version here), which was signed by Governor Cuomo earlier this year, more clearly defines industrial hemp, which contains no more than 0.3 percent of THC, the psychoactive element associated with marijuana. The products available at Bison Botanics include CBD oils, salves, gummies, and other products that its advocates say provide various medicinal benefits but are not designed to get the user high.

Supporters of the law say it will position New York as a hemp industry leader. Bison Botanics' Tony Ferro adds that knowing how they can operate, and what they can make, will allow them to build a partnership with growers and other manufacturers within the state.

"We are happy to support other local companies," he said. "We've teamed up with people that produce their own jams. We really like to support and cross-promote each other, not just to build up each other's names but to let people know what's going on in the community."

Not all products being cross-promoted include hemp extract. They're also cross-promoting local BIPOC (Black, Indigienous, People of Color) business and including their products in web-order and in-store sales. Ferro held up one example, popcorn bags produced by Buffalo-based What's Pop-In'.