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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.

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.

COVID-19 and Cannabidiol (CBD)

 

Now more than ever, our country is in need of some serious TLC. With the stresses of the world being put on our shoulders, we’re all searching for ways to help us relax and decompress at the end of the day. Vitamins and supplements, as well as certain lifestyle choices, can definitely reward us this relaxation, but we’re also looking into cannabinoids like CBD to see how its therapeutic benefits can help us during uncertain times like this. 

Though our evidence is limited, many people’s individual experiences have led us to believe that CBD may be a great way to help us decompress naturally and healthily, typically without any negative side effects, either. Because of this, and myriad other reasons, CBD products are becoming widely popularized to help us de-stress and unwind. 


How CBD Can Help Us Relax

Studies have started to demonstrate that CBD may have soothing benefits for our mind and body, one of those being an anti-anxiety property. In fact, anxiety is one of the most common reasons people turn to consuming CBD in the first place, and most find it successful. This is because cannabidiol, or CBD, is able to directly work with our body’s endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid receptors to help our brains control the production of certain enzymes. When our anxiety is on high alert and our thoughts are racing, these enzymes are firing off at rapid (and uncomfortable) speeds. Through clinical trials, we’re seeing that CBD is able to control the production of these molecules, allowing our thoughts to be clearer, more rational, and calming overall. 

Not only has the compound shown anti-anxiety properties that could help our minds decompress, but it can also assist in pain relief to let our muscles relax, too. CBD has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties of various types; from alleviating pain in joints and muscles to reducing inflammation in the skin and within our digestive tract, most pains don’t stand a chance against this cannabinoid. For shallow aches and pains, CBD topicals can be ideal, as they’re directly rubbed on the area of discomfort for almost immediate relief. For more chronic pains that can’t easily be reached, consuming CBD oil, CBD edibles, or even smoking CBD flower can help create the relief you need to feel your best. The better we feel, the more relaxed we’re able to become. 

When our brain and body feel their absolute best, we’re practically unstoppable. We can accomplish whatever we need to accomplish and feel satisfied and decompressed at the end of the day. No matter what we experience throughout our daily lives, adding a bit of CBD can make regular stressors feel more manageable and our bodies feel more prepared for whatever gets thrown our way. 


Vitamins and Other Health-Promoting Supplements

CBD isn’t the only thing that can help us decompress. In fact, when cannabidiol is paired with other vitamins and supplements, your body is receiving the ultimate dose of happiness and healthiness. 

Adding a bit of omega-3 into our lifestyles can add a lot to our health and wellbeing. These fatty acids have been proven to help with depression and anxiety, as studies have shown that those who consume omega-3 regularly are less likely to be depressed overall. Like CBD, omega-3 is also a key player in reducing inflammation, and it is even great for sleep. All of these benefits have been backed by science, allowing us to confidently enjoy the properties it brings. Taking omega-3 supplements, and also occasionally enjoying some CBD, can allow us to decompress on a daily basis, with everyday stressors not phasing us at all. 

Other supplements like L-theanine have been found to naturally promote relaxation without leaving you feeling drowsy or fatigued. It’s organically found in black and green tea leaves, though you can buy supplement versions of it at your local drugstore. Many turn to L-theanine specifically for its relaxing properties, helping even the most wound-up person unwind before starting (or ending) their day. 

Magnesium, Valerian root, and B complex are all other great sources of nutrition that can get you feeling more naturally relaxed than ever before. These vitamins and nutrients, along with some CBD, may provide you the ability to tackle every day with a more positive, calm mindset; they might be able to remind you that life just really isn’t that serious sometimes. 


Lifestyle Choices that Promote Decompression

While CBD and other supplements can give you boosts towards natural, daily decompression, lifestyle choices like meditation or regular exercise can grant you this as well. When your body is happy, your brain is happy; making healthy lifestyle changes can leave us feeling great and looking even better. 

Choosing to exercise on a daily basis not only gives us motivation, but it helps us unwind after a long day, week, or month (we’ve all been there). Even though we’re working our muscles, afterward, they’re able to relax and heal, as long as we let them. This healing time gives us a chance to decompress and feel proud of what we’ve accomplished-- not to mention, it can help you sleep at night, too. To combat muscle soreness, try rubbing a CBD cream on points of pain and let your body--and the cannabidiol--handle the rest. 


CBD and You

Making the choice to improve your life for the better is a big one. But, actually doing it doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds. Chemical compounds like CBD, as well as vitamins and healthy lifestyle changes, can all give us the extra boosts we need to allow us to shrug off the bad stuff and embrace all things good. 

If you find that CBD may be the missing link you need to feel your absolute best, check out Medical Mike’s CBD products. We carry high-quality CBD products ranging from full-spectrum oils to hemp-based salves and everything in between. To help you wind down and relax after even the most hectic day, or put you in the mindset you need to tackle your workload, Medical Mike’s CBD products are crafted with the hope that they’ll do all that and more. Check our selection out today and give your mind and body the decompression it deserves.

 

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