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New Hemp Regulations in New York

New Hemp Regulations in New York

There has never been a more exciting–or confusing time to be a New York hemp producer. Regulations are more fluid than ever. And as a New York based CBD company, our team at Medical Mike’s is laser focused on what comes next. But amidst the uncertainty for farmers and CBD companies like us, one fact is clear: New York supports hemp and CBD and wants to see the industry flourish.

So what are the latest regulations in New York for hemp farmers and CBD producers. And how did we get here? Let’s explore.

New York Hemp Production Regulations

2014 & 2018 Farm Bill

In 2014 the United States Congress passed the first Farm Bill, which allowed hemp to be grown on an approval basis for research purposes. In 2015, New York followed by establishing its own Industrial Hemp Pilot Program and has been growing the crop on a limited basis ever since.

In 2018 Congress revised the Farm Bill to pave the way for broad cultivation across the country. One year later, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) drafted the Interim Final Rule to lay the foundation for states like New York to establish large-scale production programs.

USDA’s Interim Final Rule

The Interim Rule included stringent procedures for cultivation, sampling, licensing, and testing. The program also set a legal threshold of .3% THC on all hemp crops, and included provisions for the destruction of plants that tested above the limit. The Rule gave states one year to draft their own domestic hemp programs to submit for approval.

While several states created hemp programs in the last year, New York joined top hemp producers like California and Oregon who did not. Citing its inability to meet the USDA’s restrictive demands while also protecting the financial needs of its 700 growers, New York sent a letter announcing that it would forfeit control after its Pilot Program expired at the end of October. The letter stated:

“Unless the 2014 Farm Bill is extended or the USDA otherwise agrees to change its requirements for the 2021 grow season, it appears that [New York] growers interested in cultivating an industrial hemp crop in 2021 will need to apply to USDA for a producer license.”

But just 30 days before the USDA’s Interim Final Rule was set to take effect, the organization announced last week it would extend the 2014 Farm Bill for another year to October 2021. While this is great news for most states, it puts unexpected pressure on New York.

The Latest Question for New York Hemp Producers

If the USDA’s Interim Final Rule is delayed, under what rules will New York Hemp Farmers operate after the state’s Pilot Program expires this month?

To get an answer, our team at Medical Mike’s reached out to the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets. State regulators said they’re working on it and will have an answer later this week.

But amidst the confusion, New York is still forging ahead with its plans to regulate the production and sale of CBD.

New CBD Regulations in New York

Until late last year, New York stayed relatively quiet about how to regulate hemp extracts such as CBD in products like skin salves, supplements, food and beverages. After all, technically CBD products are still under investigation by the FDA. But in the spirit of forward progress, New York decided to move ahead of the federal government to create its own Hemp Extracts Bill. Under the bill, The New York State Department of Health (DOH) is responsible for licensing CBD processors and CBD retail establishments starting January 1, 2021.

New York’s Hemp Extracts bill sets the following regulatory framework for CBD producers:

  • Licenses. Growers, manufacturers and processors of hemp and hemp extract products including CBD must apply to New York State’s DOH for 2-year renewable licenses.

  • Permits: Retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers selling “cannabis products derived from hemp extracts” must also apply for a CBD permit. Qualifications for approval are weighted on parameters such as:
  • Good moral character
  • Hemp production experience
  • Competency at delivering a quality product
  • Fingerprints of each researcher, principal, or officer of the license applicant (if requested by the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets)

  • Inspections. The State may conduct inspections at CBD production facilities. Moreover, the licensee must make himself or herself available for these visits.

  • Labeling & Packaging: All hemp extract products must be properly packaged and labeled with consumer well-being in mind. This includes avoiding medical claims, and adding warnings about potential negative health consequences. Product labels must also include:
  • QR Codes
  • Active cannabinoid concentration per serving size
  • Number of servings per container
  • The growing region, state or country (if not from the US)
  • Supplement panel with cannabinoid concentration and serving size

  • Pesticides: Licensed cannabinoid growers are prohibited from using pesticides. Additionally, all products must be extracted and manufactured in accordance with good manufacturing processes.

  • Sampling & Testing: CBD producers must submit samples to independent laboratories (approved by the Department of Health) for tests required by the State. The test results must be shared with the CBD permit holder.

  • Incentives: Hemp CBD farmers may also have access to new investment incentives.

New York’s Lack of Regulations on CBD in Food & Drinks

New York’s Hemp Extracts bill regulates CBD products like tinctures, lotions and salves. But the bill purposely leaves out rules for infused food and drinks. Though New Yorkers can find edible CBD products on shelves in certain stores throughout the state, the Department of Agriculture and Markets Department officially declared them illegal due to the ongoing investigation by the FDA. Moreover, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced he would not take any action on CBD in food and beverages until a special summit convened on the matter. Thanks to COVID-19, plans for a summit do not appear to be in the works. 

On top of the lack of clarity surrounding allowable CBD products, hemp growers, processors, manufacturers and retailers are all also waiting for specific rules on how to implement the provisions of the Hemp Extract Bill.

For example, the Bill does not clearly lay out the full scope of acceptable hemp CBD products or the final list of packaging and labeling rules. The same goes for laboratory and testing requirements, which are not clearly defined in the bill.

We reached out to the New York State Department Health for an answer to this mind bender. They told us the DOH is still in the process of implementation and is working toward the goal of accepting new CBD hemp applications “early 2021.”

New CBD Regulations in Limbo

But as New York’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program comes closer to its expiration date, hemp producers are frustrated with the lack of clarity. The industry at large is skeptical the DOH will implement rules in time to allow for a 60-day comment period and still meet the January 1st deadline.

The Bottom Line

While we wait for New York’s Department of Agriculture and Markets to issue guidance on the future of Hemp in New York, our team at Medical Mike’s is always one step ahead of regulations.

  • We only work with organic hemp farmers in New York and Vermont. That means we never use hemp that was grown with pesticides.
  • Moreover, we thoroughly vet our extractors and inspect their facilities to ensure they’re adhering to good manufacturing practices.
  • Finally, we triple check our work by contracting with verified third party laboratories to test our hemp CBD oils and salves.
  • Through testing, we ensure the concentration of CBD listed on our labels is correct. We also guarantee our product is free of all harmful contaminants.

We’re ready for any regulations New York state may throw at us, because quality and safety always come first at Medical Mike’s.

Remembering Charlotte Figi: How One Girl Impacted the World of CBD

On April 7th, 2020, the world lost one of the major pioneers towards the acceptance of cannabidiol for medical use. Even if you’re unfamiliar with Charlotte Figi’s story, you’ve undoubtedly experienced the impact of her legacy. For those of you who turn to CBD when your back hurts or to help you sleep, you have Charlotte to thank. Her name deserves to be known, and her story deserves to be told. This is the journey of Charlotte Figi: the little girl who took the CBD world by storm.

Humble Beginnings 

Charlotte Figi was born in late 2006 with her twin, Chase, and she had all of the signs of a regular, healthy child. It wasn’t until she was three months old when Charlotte had her first seizure--one that lasted 30 minutes. 

At first, doctors assumed it was a one-time thing. But, after only a week passed and Charlotte experienced another seizure, her parents knew it was something more serious. Despite having frequent and long-lasting episodes, most of her test results and screenings came back normal. Everybody was left completely stumped and feeling helpless. 

Charlie, as she began to be called by her family, was suffering from multiple seizures a day, with some lasting up to four hours. Doctors were trying everything, though Charlie was still suffering: both from her epilepsy and her medications. As a two-year-old, the little girl was on seven different medications and it was clear that they were affecting her negatively, slowing her development compared to her twin.


Charlotte's Web: A Glimmer of Hope

After struggling to find a doctor in Colorado that would actually support the parent’s decision in getting a medical marijuana card, Paige Figi finally came in touch with Dr. Margaret Gedde and Dr. Alan Shackelford, and the process began. Charlie’s parents bought two ounces of a high-CBD strain of marijuana from a dispensary and then asked a friend to help extract oil from the buds. The result was a CBD-rich, natural cannabis oil, and it was going to be tested on Charlie directly. 

A small drop was given to the little girl, and her parents couldn’t believe what they saw: Charlotte’s seizures reduced immediately, giving her hours of seizure-free relaxation. When she went a week without a seizure, Matt and Paige knew that this was their answer. The next issue, though, was how to continue to get this special remedy.

Her Legacy Continues

Soon after, the girls’ parents got in touch with the Stanley brothers, dispensary owners and cannabis cultivators in Colorado. The two were known for their work with medical marijuana and epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and certain cancers, so the Figi’s believed this was their best choice. Though the brothers had initial reservations about selling CBD oil for a girl of such a young age, the benefits were undeniable. 

Unfortunately, after seven more years of healing and advocating for the cannabis plant, Charlotte lost her life due to complications from what they suspect was Covid-19. But though she’s no longer here physically, the impact that this little pioneer had was remarkable. Even at such a young age, Charlotte was able to inspire countless people across the globe to give CBD a chance.

Microdosing CBD: A Non-Psychoactive Strategy with Benefits


With CBD popularity on the rise, you’ve probably heard people discussing the method of microdosing. This is a fairly new concept to the world of cannabidiol, but people everywhere, every day, are switching up their CBD consumption to see what the buzz is all about. 

But, what even is microdosing? 

As a simplified introduction, microdosing, is the concept of consuming strictly low-doses of a substance, but enjoying it several times throughout the day. Same goes for any CBD product, really. You just calculate your normal amount of CBD intake, and divide it up by how many times a day you want to consume it. It may seem like a lot to take CBD five or six times a day, but because of how low the dosage is, you won’t be feeling overwhelmed by properties or effects. Not to mention, intoxication is impossible with CBD. 

The Benefits 

Okay, so why would someone choose to split their CBD consumption up like this? The answer is quite simple, actually: effectivity. Though 20mg of CBD at once may give you the effects you’re looking for almost instantly, those effects will not last throughout the day. Instead, they will be powerful for a few hours, and then start to subside as the day goes on. With microdosing, however, this isn’t necessarily the case. 

By taking your recommended 20mg in doses, your body is able to better build up the cannabidiol. Once the initial 5mg begins to wear off, you’re able to take the next 5mg, keeping your body full of the healthy phytochemicals that the CBD oil provides. This way, you’re still consuming the same amount of CBD you’re used to, you’re just giving it to your body in a way that allows it to work longer and more effectively. It’s quite a win-win situation. 

The more consistently you utilize CBD, the better it is able to bind to your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for maintaining internal balance throughout your body by regulating certain hormone and enzyme production. CBD can help inhibit or prohibit the production of these enzymes, resulting in a reduction in inflammation, mood boosts, or an overall feeling of relaxation. 

The Most Effective Ways to Microdose

As we’ve strongly suggested, one of the easiest ways to microdose CBD is through CBD tinctures or oils. Both tinctures and oils typically come with a built-in pipette, making the measuring process extremely easy for consuming sublingually. Not to mention, you can purchase our CBD-rich oils in practically any strength that suits you, as well as different flavors to make the process more appealing. 

CBD-infused topical salves are also gaining popularity as a way to microdose this special cannabinoid. Topicals are creams or oils that are directly rubbed into the skin on areas of pain or discomfort. To microdose with our CBD-rich salves , we highly recommend rubbing a small dab on the pain point several times a day. Make sure to keep the dose small, like the size of a dime, and stay consistent with application to keep pain minimal and manageable. With this, feeling better is as simple as putting on some soothing lotion. Just be sure to always start low and slow, and simply let the CBD do its thing.

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