New York Opens Process for Hemp Farmers to Apply for Cannabis Growing Licenses

February 24, 2022

By Eric Altstadter

New York-based hemp farmers will have the opportunity to apply for Conditional Adult-use Cannabis Cultivator licenses to grow cannabis later this year based on a new law signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul on February 22, 2022.

Though it was legalized for recreational use as of March 2021, state officials are still determining the regulations for growing and distributing cannabis. This new legislation aims to help the industry meet the demand for recreational sale in 2022. Currently, only ten companies are licensed to grow cannabis in New York, all for medical use only.

According to the Governor’s Office, once a hemp farmer is approved for the license, they’re allowed to grow cannabis outdoors or in a greenhouse for up to two years, as well as manufacture and distribute legal, adult-use cannabis products until June 1, 2023.

Approved farmers are limited to utilizing one acre of outdoor growing space or 25,000 square foot of greenhouse space with no more than 20 artificial lights. This area can also be split up, allowing for 30,000 square feet of outdoor growing space, if the greenhouse space is under 20,000 square feet.

The license application process is currently under development and set to open as soon as possible. To qualify, candidates are required to have been authorized as industrial hemp research partners by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and have been growing hemp for at least two of the past four years.

About Eric Altstadter

Eric Altstadter CPA is an Audit Partner and Chair of the firm's Cannabis and Hemp practice with over 30 years of experience working with public companies and privately held businesses