NY’s first supply of legally grown marijuana is being harvested in the Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley is known for its apple and pumpkin farms, but there is a new crop to add to the fall harvest – marijuana.
Edward Kirkham is the chief operating officer of HPI Canna Inc., one of more than 200 hemp farmers in New York licensed to grow the state’s first crop of adult-use cannabis.
He said their one acre of flowering canopy in Poughkeepsie has 2,600 plants with six strains. The field was planted in June and will be harvested over the next three days.
"We are going to be cutting all the plants down by strain and hanging them in our drying facility," Kirkham said.
The 20,000-square-foot drying facility is said to be one of the largest in the state.
The harvest brings the budding industry in New York one step closer to the first legally grown recreational marijuana being sold in stores later this year.
"Having the ability to start in an industry from its infancy allows us to be one of the main creators of it," said Kimberly Tanami, founder and CEO of HPI Canna Inc.
The company is also licensed to process, manufacture and distribute adult-use cannabis and is contracting with other marijuana farms to dry and process their crops.
Tanami said she doesn't want to see monopolies take over the New York growing and retail market like has been done in other states that have legalized marijuana.
"Ensure that the little guy doesn't get strong armed to low wages…part of our business model is to create that structure and be the main conglomerate that affords that opportunity," she said.
As News 12 reported, the first marijuana retail dispensaries in the state will be owned and operated by people with prior marijuana convictions who are disproportionately people of color.
HPI Canna Inc. is already connecting with dispensary applicants who hope to open stores in the Hudson Valley.
Marijuana retail sales are expected to begin by the end of this year.