Gov. Hochul signs Cannabis Cultivation Bill; aims to fast-track 2022 growing season
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the Conditional Cannabis Cultivation bill, which she says, “positions New York's farmers to be the first to grow cannabis and jumpstart the safe, equitable and inclusive new industry we are building.”
According to the governor, the bill establishes a “pathway for existing New York hemp farmers to apply for a conditional license to grow cannabis in the 2022 growing season for the forthcoming adult-use cannabis market.”
Licensed farmers will have to meet certain requirements that include:
- Safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly cultivation practices
- Participation in a social equity mentorship program
- Engagement in a labor peace agreement with a bona fide labor organization.
RELATED STORIES: Marijuana Matters
From Gov. Hochul’s Office - How it works:
With a conditional adult-use cannabis cultivation license, farmers can grow outdoors or in a greenhouse for up to two years from the issuance of the license. It also allows them to manufacture and distribute cannabis flower products without holding an adult-use processor or distributor license, until June 1, 2023. Cultivators are limited to one acre (43,560 square feet) of flowering canopy outdoors or 25,000 square feet in a greenhouse and can use up to 20 artificial lights. They can also split between outdoor and greenhouse grows with a maximum total canopy of 30,000 square feet as long as greenhouse flowering canopy remains under 20,000 square feet.
The OCM will be developing a license application process and opening the program as soon as possible. To qualify for an Adult-use Cannabis Conditional Cultivator License, an applicant must have been an authorized industrial hemp research partner for the Department of Agriculture and Markets, cultivating hemp for its non-intoxicating cannabinoid content for at least two of the past four years and in good standing as of Dec. 31, 2021, when the research program ended.
Holders of the license must also participate in a social equity mentorship program where they provide training in cannabis cultivation and processing for social and economic equity partners, preparing them for potential roles in the industry. Growers will also have to meet sustainability requirements to ensure the cannabis is grown in an environmentally conscientious way.