In case you missed the parades featuring giant doobie floats, the joint giveaways for the vaccinated or the general celebratory aroma of city streets, recreational marijuana is now legal in New York.
While attention is trained on the new legal drug business the state is building, another even larger cannabis business is awaiting its day in the sun. Already legal to grow and process, industrial hemp is the potentially billion-dollar New York industry few are paying attention to yet. While it may take longer to scale up than recreational marijuana, industrial hemp could have even greater economic potential for the state.
Although most people are familiar with the drug marijuana that comes from the cannabis plant, far fewer know about the many uses for hemp, which looks similar, but has negligible amounts of the psychoactive chemical THC. For those who are familiar with hemp, they may most closely associate it with their local hippie stores next to the crystals and incense. But its uses range from textiles for clothes to construction material to food. “People are chasing these bright shiny objects, and I think those will have maybe short-lived potential,” said Daniel Dolgin, owner of Eaton Hemp in Central New York, of recreational marijuana. “I think there will be more losers than winners – there will be big winners, but the industrial side has much less sex appeal.” [Read more at City & State New York]