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A Tale of Two States: Enthusiasm in NY State/Hemp Processor Folds in Kentucky

New York farmers band together to capitalize on new hemp regulations

Several area farmers have banded together under the moniker Hempire State Growers seeking to reap the benefits of hemp-based commerce recently formalized under a new set of regulations passed by state lawmakers.

The new regulations, signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in December, created a regulatory framework for hemp extract production, processing and commerce and updates the hemp permitting process and regulates the extract industry through production standards, testing and labeling.

“The passage of this legislation is of great importance to New York farmers and to our economy, and creates a nation-leading framework for growing, processing, and selling hemp products in the state,” State Sen. Jen Metzger, D-Rosendale said in an emailed statement. Metzger co-sponsored the legislation with Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Binghamton.

Jason D. Minard, who serves as both Hempire State Growers’ in-house attorney and a grower himself, said the legislation creates the most comprehensive legal framework in the U.S. and does what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to do.

Minard, a fifth-generation farmer, said the new regulations will make New York state a national leader in CBD hemp. Besides growing hemp Minard is co-owner of the Minard Family Farms apple orchard in Clintondale which his family started in 1906. [Read More @ Daily Freeman]

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New Stanton, KY area hemp processor CAMO closes, stranding farmers

A company that seemed poised to make Westmoreland County a hemp hub has folded, leaving local growers with nowhere to sell their crops.

Commonwealth Alternative Medicinal Options shut down its 45,000-square-foot CBD processing facility near New Stanton as the price of hemp cratered.

“The bottom line on it is, we saw over a 75% decrease in prices for the finished products,” CAMO Chief Operating Officer Mike Moody said.

CBD isolate — the purified form of hemp extract CBD — sold for about $6,000 a kilogram in May, according to industry marketplace kush.com. In January, the price had plummeted to about $1,600 a kilogram, according to industry monitor Hemp Benchmarks.

“The supply surged ahead of demand much faster, and demand wasn’t growing as much,” Moody said. “We didn’t move fast enough, the market moved faster than us.”

CAMO founder Matthew Mallory did not respond to a request for comment.

The company employed about 25 people at its peak, Moody said.

“It was tough to let those folks go. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into it,” he said.

CAMO grew hemp and contracted with local farmers to grow more. [Read More @ TribLive]

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