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Cuomo administration releases draft hemp regulations

The Cuomo administration has released long-awaited draft regulations that would set licensing, quality standards, labeling requirements and other rules for selling hemp products in New York.

Key context: The state Department of Health posted its wide-ranging set of proposed regulationsonline Tuesday night. They will be published in the State Register on Nov. 10, giving cannabis farmers, processors and business officials two months to weigh in on the draft rules.

What they said: The New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association, which had urged the Cuomo administration to immediately share the proposed rules in late September, said they include “wins for the industry,” but also “completely and problematically prohibit certain products that are actively in production and currently on store shelves.”

The association, for example, lauded recommendations on the allowance for extracts in food and beverage. It expressed disappointment, however, in the proposed “all out ban on sale of hemp flower.”

“The issuance of these regulations will further help operators in New York who have been committed to quality, safety and compliance. We thank the Department of Health for releasing them and allowing the industry time to provide feedback,” NYCGPA President Allan Gandelman said in a statement. “However, I share in the frustration of our members and the hundreds of growers throughout the state who have spent significant resources in harvesting their crop this year that hemp flower will not be allowed for sale.”

Background: Cuomo endorsed hemp extract legislation NY A8977 (19R) / NY S6968 (19R) in late January, a month after he signed another bill NY A7680 (19R) / NY S6184 (19R) that sought to create a regulatory framework for the production and sale of hemp in New York. The newer bill created “the regulatory framework for hemp and hemp extract.”

What’s next: The state will take comments on the proposed rules through Jan. 11, according to state health officials.

By Shannon Young

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