What’s being called the most lucrative cash-crop farmers have seen in decades is bringing in plenty of green to the Hudson Valley.
A 50-acre plot in Wappinger Falls is one of hundreds entering the hemp-growing industry since Congress passed the Farm Bill of 2018 a year ago.
“The crop exceeded our expectations. From the first 50 acres, we got around 120,000 pounds of hemp,” says Igor Goldenberg, of CanaFarma.
The law uprooted hemp from the controlled substance list, making way for a booming hemp-growing industry in the Hudson Valley.
“There are a lot of products that can actually be manufactured from hemp, from hemp-infused product to fiber,” says Goldenberg.
According to the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, there are now 459 authorized hemp growers in the state.
Locally, Orange County has the highest number of growers with 32. Dutchess County came in second with 16.
Chase Terwilliger is the CEO of HempCBDistillery that sells CBD oils extracted from hemp, which can be used for health and wellness.
He says one of the main things that could hinder industry growth is the lack of regulation.
The FDA said in a warning earlier this month, CBD oils may not be safe until the agency sets regulations.
Next month, the state is expected to host a hemp summit to help further develop policies and priorities related to the hemp industry.