Governor Cuomo Announces the New York State Department of Health's Cannabinoid Hemp Program Now Accepting License Applications


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Department of Health is now accepting applications from businesses seeking to operate as cannabinoid hemp processors, retailers or distributors. The applications are available on the Cannabinoid Hemp Program's webpage here. In October, Governor Cuomo announced that the Department filed proposed regulations to regulate cannabinoid hemp products in New York State. Cannabinoid hemp products include many CBD products currently available for purchase, including tinctures, vaporizations, oils, topicals, pills, capsules and food or beverages. 

"Opening the application process for businesses looking to be part of the growing hemp industry in New York State is a critical step in the process of expanding our economy and building back better. Licensing gives processors, distributors and retailers the ability to help ensure the hemp industry's long-term viability," Governor Cuomo said. "This exciting opportunity to be a part of the state's regulated Cannabinoid Hemp Program is great news for farmers and consumers."

In accordance with legislation signed last year by the Governor, the Department has created a Cannabinoid Hemp Program. The Program is licensing cannabinoid hemp processors, distributors and retailers and setting quality control standards that all cannabinoid hemp products must meet including manufacturing, packaging and labeling and laboratory testing requirements. The Program will help organize and legitimize the growing cannabinoid hemp industry in New York State while simultaneously protecting consumers from sub-standard and potentially dangerous products.  

In 2015, the Governor launched the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program, supporting farmers and further boosting economic development in upstate New York. Since then, New York's hemp program has expanded significantly, making New York one of the leading hemp producing states in the country. Hemp is a sustainable, carbon-sequestering crop that is capable of being transformed into hundreds of products including textiles, furniture, fuel, food, construction materials and personal care items.

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "Opening cannabinoid hemp processor, distributor and retailer applications is the first step to ensuring a safe and regulated supply chain for cannabinoid hemp products in New York State. Licensing will hold processors, distributors and retailers accountable, helping to remove sub-standard and potentially dangerous products from the marketplace." 

Any business extracting or manufacturing cannabinoid hemp in New York State, whether in intermediate or final form, must obtain a Cannabinoid Hemp Processor license. Cannabinoid Hemp Processor licenses are divided into two license types: "Extracting and Manufacturing" and "Manufacturing Only." An "Extracting and Manufacturing" license permits a processor to extract and/or isolate cannabinoids from hemp to create crude oil, distillate, isolate or other intermediary products for further refinement, and allows licensees to manufacture cannabinoid hemp products. A "Manufacturing Only" license allows processors to purchase crude oil, distillate, isolate or other intermediary product and use it to manufacture cannabinoid hemp products. 

Any business selling or intending to sell cannabinoid hemp products to consumers in New York State must be licensed as a Cannabinoid Hemp Retailer. Additionally, distributors of cannabinoid hemp products manufactured outside of New York State must obtain a Cannabinoid Hemp Distributor Permit to sell cannabinoid hemp products to Cannabinoid Hemp Retailers in New York State. 

To be sold in New York State, cannabinoid hemp products must be manufactured using good manufacturing practices, laboratory tested by an approved third-party laboratory, and properly labeled to inform consumers of the amount of cannabinoids per serving and warn of any risks associated with use of the product.


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