US (NY): Upstate cannabis farmers harvest crop - waiting for next steps

As many New Yorkers and tourists enjoy apple and pumpkin picking during the fall season, the state's new adult-use cannabis farmers are also harvesting their crop with high hopes for the future. On a 280-acre farm at Mystic Meadows in Hopewell Junction, Alex Keenan and Ryan McGrath have what's left of their first acre of cannabis plants spread out over two acres behind a fence declaring it the "Field of Dreams."

Giving a tour of the farm, the Hudson River Hemp LLC partners say because they previously grew hemp, they were given a license to move on the cannabis early on. Now, Keenan says, the growing season is winding down.

“We can see the thought process on why they gave the cultivators time to grow this season. If they didn't get us licensed in the spring, there's no way there'd be any product next year. Would I love if they had dispensaries already approved and all the processors already approved? Yeah. But, we're hoping that the end result will be there.”

State Office of Cannabis Management spokesman Aaron Ghitelman says he understands farmers’ concerns. Ghitelman says they expect to issue the licenses in mid-fall and have stores open by the end of the year.

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