US: New York's first legal cannabis crop sprouts under the sun

New York's adult-use cannabis market is beginning to sprout, literally, with thin-leafed plants stretching toward the sun in farms around the state.

In a novel move, New York gave 203 hemp growers first shot at cultivating cannabis destined for legal sales, which could start by the end of the year. Big indoor growers are expected to join later.

But for now, the field is clear for 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 said during a break in planting. “And hopefully it benefits the farmers. Been a long time since there’s been a real cash crop.”

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