First Legal Weed Crop in New York Inches Toward Harvest

First Legal Weed Crop in New York Inches Toward Harvest
High Times

An historic crop is beginning to sprout in the Empire State. As New York inches closer to the launch of its adult-use cannabis market, the state’s inaugural cultivators are readying the first batch. A report from the Associated Press on Wednesday put a spotlight on some of New York’s first legal recreational cannabis growers, who were awarded cultivation licenses back in April. The AP highlighted “growers like Frank Popolizio of Homestead Farms and Ranch, where a small crew north of Albany earlier this month dug out shallow holes for seedlings before packing them in by hand.” “It is an opportunity. There’s obviously going to be a demand for it,” Popolizio told the Associated Press. “And, hopefully, it benefits the farmers. Been a long time since there’s been a real cash crop.” Popolizio is a recipient of the first roughly 200 licenses awarded to cultivators for New York’s forthcoming recreational cannabis market. The state legalized recreational cannabis for adults last year, when former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that ended the prohibition and paved the way for a regulated cannabis market that is expected to launch by the end of this year. But under Cuomo, the new marijuana program was slow to take shape, with key regulatory positions going unfilled for months. After Cuomo resigned as governor last August amid allegations of sexual misconduct, he was replaced by Kathy Hochul, a fellow Democrat who made the launch of the adult-use cannabis program a priority.  Within a month of taking office, Hochul completed a pair of appointments to the state’s Office of Cannabis Management, saying at the time that “New York’s cannabis industry has stalled for far too long.” In April, the New York State Cannabis Control announced that it had approved the first 52 adult-use cannabis cultivation licenses, with…

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