Market Overview

New York Hemp Farmers to Supply Medical Marijuana Market

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Hemp Farmers have even more cause to celebrate after the USDA released it's much anticipated final interim rule on hemp. After the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp, supply for the product boomed as farmers joined the hemp industry in droves to cater to the immense demand for hemp-derived cannabidiol CBD. However, […]

Hemp Farmers have even more cause to celebrate after the USDA released it's much anticipated final interim rule on hemp. After the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp, supply for the product boomed as farmers joined the hemp industry in droves to cater to the immense demand for hemp-derived cannabidiol CBD. However, the sector remained unregulated, and hemp farmers had to brave the severe conditions of what some termed a ‘wild west‘ industry.

Hemp farmers in New York will now be able to gain an extra stream of revenue. Under the new rules, the ten companies licensed to market and sell medical marijuana will now be able to buy the less expensive hemp grown under the state's Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program, launched in 2015, to produce CBD products. According to officials, the rules also seek to reduce the costs for thousands of medical marijuana patients statewide who use CBD products.

State officials say that the companies have in the past had to rely on their own operations to produce CBD, and most of the extra costs incurred during the process were passed on to the patients. "Since its launch, the state's hemp research program has seen tremendous interest from growers and processors, and this new regulation will provide our research partners with another market for their products," said Richard Ball, State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner.

A report from USA Today Network New York stated that this year, more than 400 New York growers had nearly 18,000 acres of hemp awaiting harvest, a significant increase from the 100 state-licensed growers who were in operation two years ago. "We support the continued growth of this emerging industry, which has opened the door to new opportunities in New York's agricultural industry, as well as many other sectors," said Ball.

The New York Department of Health jointly announced the new hemp rules in a bid to improve the access and affordability of medical marijuana for patients. The department oversees the state's medical-marijuana program. Over the last few years, it has expanded the list of medical conditions eligible for medical marijuana, and it has taken other steps to boost patient enrollment to nearly 110,000 today. Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said that "This is yet another example that will help improve the program for patients and registered organizations."

The new regulations were published on Wednesday in the State Register, subject to a 60-day comment period. It is widely believed that formalizing the use of CBD products in the state medical marijuana program was a foregone conclusion since hemp companies like SinglePoint Inc. (OTCQB:SING) and Canopy Rivers Inc. (TSX:RIV) (OTC:CNPOF) have always known the huge benefits of CBD for patients struggling with various conditions.

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