In late October, the New York State Department of Health (“DOH”) announced the release of the state’s long-awaited cannabidiol (“CBD”) guidelines. Reversing the state’s ban from last year on the sale of hemp-derived CBD-infused consumables, the new regulations aim to implement both quality control standards and a licensing program for CBD businesses.

Spanning sixty-three pages, the new guidelines are intended to provide more standardized testing and labeling methods to ensure consumer safety. Food and beverage products cannot contain more than 25mg of cannabinoid per product, while dietary supplements may contain up to 3,000mg per product. Hemp extract and finished CBD products are permitted to have up to 3% THC when handled by appropriate processing license holders.

Additionally, the DOH has established the following application fee schedule for businesses that operate in the space:

  • Cannabinoid hemp sales application – $300
  • Cannabinoid hemp manufacturer applications – $500
  • Cannabinoid hemp processor applications – $1,000
  • Two-year business license (depending on operations) – $2,000 or $4,500

In the announcement on the new DOH guidelines, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated:

“These regulations are the next step toward regulating the growing hemp industry in New York in a way that protects consumers and helps ensure the industry’s long-term viability…Establishing the State’s Cannabinoid Hemp Program to regulate production and sale of hemp and hemp extract will help protect both consumers and farmers.”1

While certainly a step forward for the state’s hemp and CBD market, some industry stakeholders remain undecided on the foreseeable benefit of the DOH’s new hemp and CBD rules. For the New York Cannabis Growers & Processors Association (“NYCGPA”), a coalition of the state’s cannabis growers and processors, the guidelines seem problematic, especially in regard to the continued ban on hemp flower sales.2

That said, other market participants such as Hemp Ace International head, Joy Beckerman have praised the DOH guidelines, claiming it shows, “understanding of a lot of complexities involved in this industry.”3

According to local news outlet WKBW Buffalo, cannabinoid hemp applications are currently being drafted, with the DOH aiming for publication in early 2021.4Public comments on the proposed regulations will be accepted from November 10 until Jan. 11, 2021.

  1. Ross, Paul. “Gov. Cuomo Proposes Regulations for CBD Hemp Products.” WKBW Buffalo. Scripps Media, Inc, October 29, 2020. https://www.wkbw.com/news/local-news/gov-cuomo-proposes-regulations-for-cbd-hemp-products
  2. New York Cannabis Growers & Processors Association. “An Open Letter to the NYS Cannabis Industry.” New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association. NYCGPA, October 28, 2020. https://nycgpa.org/an-open-letter-to-the-nys-cannabis-industry/
  3. Bennett, Theresa. “New York Releases Long-Awaited CBD Regulations.” Hemp Grower. GIE Media, Inc., October 29, 2020. https://www.hempgrower.com/article/new-york-releases-cbd-cannabinoid-hemp-regulations/
  4. Ross, Paul. “Gov. Cuomo Proposes Regulations for CBD Hemp Products.”
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