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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.

CBD vs CBG: The effects, benefits, strains, and best products

hemp cbg

CBD deserves every ounce of acclaim it’s received as the world’s most popular alternative to THC. In fact, you might have noticed we’re quite fond of Vermont CBD at Medical Mike’s. But CBD isn’t the only non-psychoactive cannabinoid with intriguing physiological effects. We think it’s time CBD shared the spotlight with another member of the hemp family–CBG.

Medical Mike's Hemp Reserve CBG Oil:

What is CBG?

CBG (Cannabigerol) stands on its own as a therapeutic, non-intoxicating compound, which transforms in other cannabinoids during hemp’s flowering phase. And when combined with CBD in full spectrum products, CBG can support an even wider array of benefits. That’s why Medical Mike’s is developing a new Reserve Line featuring a hybrid CBD CBG formula. 

So what makes CBG so special? And how do CBD and CBG synergize in hemp products to create even more dynamic benefits? Here we explore.

CBD vs CBG: Do they get you high?

Both cannabinoids are non-intoxicating. That means you absolutely will not get high from ingesting CBD or CBG products derived from hemp.

CBD vs CBG: What are the effects?

As of today, CBD is the only hemp cannabinoid to receive FDA approval for medical use. Proven an effective anti-seizure treatment, CBD can dramatically reduce tremors in childhood epilepsy. But CBG does not display the same anti-convulsive effects, according to preliminary research

CBD is also touted as one of the most natural methods against symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD. These effects are precisely what makes CBD so popular as a natural aid for daily stress and emotional suffering. While CBG doesn’t exhibit the same anti-anxiety powers, it offers a host of important benefits.   

Research on CBG is in its infancy, but even the U.S. government wants to know more. In 2018, The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) announced plans to research CBG for pain relief due to the cannabinoid’s known analgesic properties.

Pain is one of most overly-medicated conditions, which has led to widespread opioid abuse and countless deaths. Patients are calling for safer alternatives, and CBG may be one game-changing solution. 

Inflammation is one of the main causes of stress and aging that affects every system of the body. Both CBD and CBG are potent anti-inflammatories, which can help relieve a variety of conditions including pain, sore muscles and skin irritation. CBG’s strong neuroinflammatory properties can even support treatment for conditions like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), according to a study in Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology. 

Additional benefits:
Research shows CBG contains neuroprotective properties, which can possibly support treatment for degenerative conditions like Huntington’s disease. CBG is also known for its potential to ease Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and even slow the growth of cancer cells in animal studies. But that’s not all. CBG also exhibits antibacterial properties, which can help target infectious disease. 

The list of CBG’s potential benefits are endless, and we are so excited for what future research may reveal. But we want to be clear: CBG is not FDA-approved to treat any medical conditions today. Large scale human clinical trials are needed to prove what pre-clinical research and observational studies predict. 

CBD vs CBG: How do they work in the body?

Like CBD, CBG communicates with chemical receptors in the body, which make up the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The two primary receptors of the ECS are known as CB1 and CB2, which exist in nearly every system of the human body. CB1 receptors are primarily concentrated in the brain and nervous system. While CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. This interaction is what explains the ability of cannabinoids to promote healing. 

But they don’t all interact the same way. For example, CBD works primarily by sending indirect signals to CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBG “talks” to them directly, by binding with these receptors to help regulate a variety of functions. However, CBG has a much weaker binding affinity than cannabinoids like THC, which is why it doesn’t get you high.

CBD vs CBG: What are the most popular strains?

High CBG strains are far less common than high CBD strains. Why? CBG is the acidic precursor to other cannabinoids, including THC, CBD, and CBC. That means CBG can transform into these cannabinoids during the plant’s growth cycle. And when the process is over, only trace amounts of CBG are left behind.

However, with the right seed selection and growing conditions, anything is possible–especially when customers like you demand it. That’s why the team at Medical Mike’s are sourcing top hemp growers in New York, Vermont and Colorado who are experimenting with these rare hemp seed genetics.

Today’s most popular high CBG strains:

Jack Frost

Stem Cell CBG

Superglue CBG

Lemon Cream Diesel

White CBG

As a New York based hemp company, we’ve been exploring high CBG strains to find the best CBG flower for our Reserve line of full spectrum hemp products. Research and development is still underway, but we’re excited to announce details soon!

CBD vs CBG: What are the most popular products?

The most popular CBD and CBG products are generally concentrated oils packaged in tinctures that you take under the tongue. Known as a “sublingual” delivery method, oil tinctures are highly effective because they bypass your digestive system and absorb quickly into the bloodstream. That means sublingual CBD CBG oils can act faster and more effectively than edibles, for example.

That said, CBD edibles are extremely popular and found on almost every shelf of your favorite coffee shop and health food store. You can find CBD in nearly all goodies ranging from chips, to protein bars, to gummies, and even tomatoes.

On the beverage side, you can find CBD in waters, coffee, sodas and juices. CBD is also very common in topical products, from skin salves, to muscle rubs, to treatments and cosmetics.

CBG is less common in edibles and topicals than CBD. But you can find CBG in other popular hemp products such as:

  • Full spectrum CBD and CBG vape cartridges
  • High potency CBD and CBG capsules
  • Smokable CBD and CBG flower

CBD vs CBG: Are they legal?

CBD and CBG are federally legal as long as they are derived from hemp and not from its nefariously intoxicating cousin–marijuana. However, not all products are regulated equally. As of today, the FDA has failed to declare CBD legal in supplements, food, and drinks.

While the country waits for guidance, states like New York have moved forward with regulating products that contain hemp extracts like CBD. Late last year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that allows CBD and CBG in supplements, while requiring strict requirements for safety processing and testing. This bill does not include guidance on edibles and beverages.

At Medical Mikes, a New York based hemp company, we ensure all products are compliant with state and federal hemp regulations as they continue to evolve.

CBD vs CBG: How are they extracted?

CBD and CBG can be extracted from hemp using a variety of superfluid liquid solvents to draw them out of the plant and into a solution. The liquid solution is later evaporated, leaving the concentrated CBD and CBG behind. But not every method is as effective or natural as the next.

For example, butane solvents have been shown to leave toxic residue behind. That’s why the team at Medical Mike’s carefully sources high quality hemp CBD processors in New York, Vermont, and Colorado that use the most natural and effective hemp extraction methods. This allows us to obtain the cleanest, most potent CBD CBG products to launch in our new Reserve line.

Our upcoming full spectrum blend, which contains 1,000 mg CBD and 1,000 mg CBG will be extracted via CO2. CO2 extraction is one the most advanced methods because it produces the highest yields without losing hemp’s array of delicate compounds–including volatile terpenes. CO2 hemp extraction is also one the safest methods, because it doesn’t leave behind any residual solvents that are toxic to your body.

At Medical Mike’s, our number one priority is your health. That’s why we only source processors who adhere to the highest standards that customers like you expect.

CBD & CBG: Why take them together?

CBD and CBG products work well individually. But together in high concentrations, they produce synergistic benefits that you can’t get from one compound alone. This concept is widely known as the “Entourage Effect,” which theorizes that there’s a very important connection between cannabinoids and the way they communicate together with the ECS. In fact, cannabis researchers Hildebert Wagner and Gudrun Ulrich-Merzenich said when multiple cannabinoids combine in the body, they improve absorption of active ingredients and minimize potential unwanted side effects.

Bottom Line:
At Medical Mike’s be believe using CBG and CBD together in full spectrum products creates a dynamic solution that combines the benefits of both–All without getting you high. That’s a winning combination.

Want to learn more about Medical Mike’s upcoming Reserve Line of full spectrum hemp extract?
Contact us today.

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