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NY law will let hemp growers apply for license to grow pot

February 22, 2022 Associated Press
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday he plans to visit three or four states where weed is legal. AP photo by Richard Vogel
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Hemp farmers in New York state will be able to apply for a license to grow marijuana this year under legislation signed Tuesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The new law will allow hemp growers to apply for a conditional adult-use cannabis cultivator license in anticipation of the recreational marijuana market that is expected to open up in New York sometime in the coming year.

Hochul, a Democrat, said in a news release that the bill will jump-start “the safe, equitable and inclusive new industry we are building.”

It’s been nearly a year since New York legalized recreational use of marijuana for adults, but officials are still working on regulations for growing and selling cannabis legally. New York’s only legal marijuana growers to date are 10 companies that supply medical weed to roughly 125,000 registered patients.

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New York’s legal recreational marijuana market is expected to be one of the nation’s largest once it is up and running.

Under the new law, conditionally licensed cannabis growers must meet certain requirements including sustainable farming practices and participation in a social equity mentorship program.

State Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, called the legislation “an important step in ensuring an adequate supply of cannabis for the adult-use market while prioritizing New York farmers, supporting social and economic equity mentorship programs and encouraging environmentally sustainable agricultural practices.”

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