(WNY News Now) -Nearly 70 bipartisan New York State legislators have come together to urge Governor Hochul to provide assistance to struggling cannabis farmers by signing the Cannabis Crop Rescue Act.
Albany -In a rare display of bipartisan unity, a coalition of almost 70 New York State legislators has penned a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul, imploring her to take swift action by signing the Cannabis Crop Rescue Act, S.7295A/A.7375A. Spearheaded by the Agriculture Committee leaders from both the Senate and Assembly, including Senate Chair Michelle Hinchey, Ranking Member George Borrello, Assembly Chair Donna Lupardo, and Ranking Member Chris Tague, this appeal comes amid mounting concerns over the dire state of cannabis farmers in the state.
The legislators emphasized that the prolonged delays and complications surrounding the launch of the legal adult-use cannabis market have left over 200 cannabis farmers and processors with no viable avenue to sell their products, while only 23 state-licensed dispensaries are currently operational statewide. This has resulted in an astonishing excess of 250,000 pounds of unsold cannabis, depreciating in value daily and depriving farmers of their expected income.
Senate Agriculture Chair Michelle Hinchey underscored the urgency of the situation, stating, “The Cannabis Crop Rescue Act is a vital short-term solution that needs action now.” Senate Agriculture Ranking Member George Borrello echoed the sentiment, emphasizing that “Every week that passes makes their situation more desperate.”
Assembly Agriculture Chair Donna Lupardo acknowledged the plight of cannabis farmers and stressed the need to act swiftly, while Assembly Ranking Member Chris Tague, despite previous reservations, called on Governor Hochul to sign the bill immediately into law to alleviate the financial distress faced by these farmers. The legislators collectively view the Cannabis Crop Rescue Act as a necessary lifeline for a beleaguered industry struggling to find its footing in the face of unforeseen obstacles.