New York Senate OKs bill to allow hemp farmers to grow adult-use marijuana

The New York state Senate passed a bill that would provide hemp farmers a conditional license to grow, process and distribute marijuana flower products.

Sen. Michelle Hinchey, sponsor of Senate Bill S8084A, told the Daily Freeman in Kingston that the legislation would accelerate the recreational marijuana launch as well as bring additional diversity into the state’s adult-use program.

The Senate passed the measure by a 50-13 vote on Tuesday. It now goes to the New York State Assembly.

Hinchey also noted that the bill would help advance the adult-use program’s social equity goals by establishing mentorship programs that bring more minority farmers into the industry.

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New York enacted a recreational marijuana law last year and is in the process of establishing rules and regulations.

It’s unclear when the projected $2 billion-a-year industry will launch.