A ”Hemp Action Day" is planned for Tuesday, September 15, calling on Governor Cuomo to release much-needed regulations for hemp-extract products in New York.
It’s been over nine months since Governor Cuomo signed the Hemp Extract Bill into law, and businesses are wondering where the regulations are.
The Hemp Extract Bill (A8977/S6869) is a landmark piece of legislation that would effectively implement the most progressive regulatory program in the country and establish New York as a leader in the global hemp industry. Regulations governing quality standards, labeling requirements, food & beverage products, and retailing of hemp extracts like CBD, are slated to go into effect on January 1, 2021, but have yet to be released. The delay has put a pause on the budding industry.
A Coordinated Hemp Action Day
On September 15, the New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association (NYCGPA) is coordinating with industry leaders across the state for a day of action. The Hemp Action Day serves to showcase the statewide hemp industry's wide economic impact and advocate for regulatory clarity. In six regions across the Empire State, these leaders will be calling on Governor Cuomo to release long-promised regulations.
A coalition of retailers, manufacturers, and farms have come together for six simultaneous press conferences held across the State, Tuesday morning at 11:00am.
Empire Standard & Castetter Cannabis Group Headquarters (Binghamton)
Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards (Syracuse)
Bison Botanics (Buffalo)
Gardenworks Farm (Washington County)
Come Back Daily (Manhattan)
Hempire State Growers (Hudson Valley)
Uncertainty is Stifling Growth
Lingering questions remain unanswered including; putting CBD in food and beverages, smokable flower legality, how to label supplements, and what enforcement may look like. A lack of clear labeling and manufacturing guidelines has resulted in producers guessing at what may be required.
Significant investment is required to operate and construct manufacturing to the Dietary Supplement GMP standards required by the Hemp Extract Bill, which could bring much-needed job growth and economic activity. However, many companies are reporting that plans are stalled amidst the uncertainty.
As harvest begins, farmers are relying on processors and manufactures to provide them stable prices for their crop. Large retailers and brands have been increasingly hesitant to carry extract products due to uncertain State and Federal regulations, leading many manufacturers with a surplus of product and unwilling to purchase more from farmers. The Hemp Extract Law, by licensing retailers and enforcing quality standards, intended to provide increased comfort for retailers and open up new markets.
Dangerous Products on the Shelves
Lack of regulations not only hurt producers but consumers as well. Potentially dangerous and mislabeled hemp-extract products have flooded the market. Without the ability to enforce the Hemp Extract Bill, consumers continue to be unaware of the ingredients of popular CBD products and their integrity.
A recent scientific report found evidence that many CBD products contain dangerous contaminants and are falsifying their claims to the concentration of cannabinoids including CBD and THC. Florida has recently rolled out regulations mirroring New York's approach and have quickly found contaminated products on store shelves.
New York Leadership on Hemp Extracts
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been notably unclear on its stance towards hemp and CBD products, which has left the nationwide market highly unregulated as hemp and CBD products are sold without regard to any quality standards. In addition to the danger this poses to public health, it also puts high-quality producers at a cost disadvantage. Although the FDA has repeatedly said they are reevaluating their stance on hemp, the process has been slow, tedious, and has not produced any significant results.
New York’s Hemp Extract Bill was a response to the regulatory void. It showcased the state’s ability to recognize the regulatory disadvantage which faced hemp producers and provided them with promises of proper and fair regulation.
When Governor Cuomo signed the Hemp Extract Law earlier this year, New York was poised to become a global leader - implementing standards and a regulatory framework to be modeled after. With the release of promised regulations stalled, the Empire State risks losing that place as a leader to states such as Florida, Kentucky, and Florida. As the State proves we are #NewYorkTough, hemp can be a critical driver of recovery.
The industry's leaders are calling on Governor Cuomo to continue his leadership and place New York Hemp back in the global spotlight by releasing the regulations.