BINGHAMTON, NY – Cannabis growers across New York are largely in favor of the state’s new regulations on recreational marijuana with one major exception: they want to start growing the plants now.
The New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association represents farmers, processors and others currently active in the state industrial hemp and CBD industry.
Founder and President Allan Gandelman owns Main Street Farms in Cortland where he grows organic vegetables and, since 2018, organic hemp.
Gandelman also operates Head and Heal which produces and markets CBD products for medicinal purposes.
He says growing marijuana requires the same skill set as hemp so existing hemp farmers are ready to go.
“There’s no need to wait for 18 months. It’s totally ridiculous. We can get growing right now if they would allow us to. The thing that Albany doesn’t fully understand are growing seasons. We can only plant cannabis in May or June in New York State.”
The framework passed by the state delays the growing of recreational marijuana, or adult-use cannabis as state officials call it, until Fall of next year.
But that would delay planting until 2 years from now pushing bringing the product to market until the beginning of 2023.
Gandelman says that would give large out-of-state producers time to gear up in an effort to corner the market.
“We have enough growers in New York State to supply the entire New York State market from Day 1. We will absolutely have no shortage of cannabis with our small and mid-size growers around the state. We do not need any large corporations coming in and setting up giant facilities. It’s completely unnecessary,” says Gandelman.
Gandelman says large outfits licensed to grow medical marijuana in the state are already expanding their capacity in anticipation of growing recreational marijuana.
He also says his association is pressing for dispensary licenses to be given to communities of color and other others heavily impacted by the criminalization of marijuana before large corporate interests become dominant in that portion of the industry.
Watch Jim Ehmke”s full interview with Gandelman: