When 22-year-old Owen Martinetti and a partner moved from Queens to a farm in Rensselear County, his neighbors were certain the pair were growing “weed.”
They are — but not in the sense most people have in mind.
To the surprise of many, they will join about 100 farmers legally planting more than 3,000 acres of cannabis across New York this year.
Five years ago, these growers would have been hauled off to jail. Today, they are being celebrated as entrepreneurs, pioneers in a new and potentially lucrative industry that will provide another crop option for New York’s hard-pressed agricultural community.
These aren’t the same varieties of hemp being cultivated in Colorado, or other locales where marijuana is legal. This is a hemp strain practically devoid of THC — the chemical that gets marijuana users high. Rather, this is cannabis designed for new, nonpsychoactive uses being developed by a fledgling industry about to bust from the shadows — with one huge caveat.
For the industry to thrive, decades-old laws that lump industrial hemp in with the THC-laden crop need to be addressed. [Read more at PressConnects]