Agriculture has never been an industry known for its cushy margins. With the recent legalization of recreational cannabis in New York, however, there are many interested parties hoping to get in on their share of the harvest. But for Amy and Gail Hepworth of Hempire State Growers, interest in cannabis has always been about ensuring that the health and well-being of the Hudson Valley farming community remains front and center.
“The cannabis industry is being driven by people with money who don’t have a vision of who this plant can help,” says Gail, who founded Hudson Valley hemp-growing cooperative, Hempire State Growers, with her twin sister Amy in 2019. “It’s an economic disruptor that can create new microindustries for our region and change the paradigm of the one percent.”
As seventh generation owners of Hepworth Farms, a 550-acre certified organic vegetable operation in Milton, Amy and Gail entered the cannabis industry as a way to improve the economic trajectory of the region’s farmers.
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