Springfield Center Dairy Farm Turned Hemp Farm Models Economic Success
A closed Dairy Farm in Springfield Center, NY (Stitzel's Waterpoint Farm) was bought last spring by a Canadian cannabis company, Canopy Growth which will harvest its first hemp crop this October, 300 acres worth. Hemp is a strain of cannabis with much lower concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the chemical that gives users the high. Hemp contains 0.3 percent of THC as opposed to the cannabis used for medical and recreational use which contains 2 to 19 percent THC.
The hemp from Canopy Growth will be processed off-site for its cannabinoid or CBD oil, which is a non-hallucinogenic chemical used for numerous medical conditions and is typically used for pain relief, anxiety and depression relief, insomnia, cancer related symptoms, acne reduction, to promote heart health, and other health related issues.
Sales of CBD products in the U.S. are on the rise and it's expected that generated sales will reach about $2 billion by 2022. Could this be the economic boon that Otsego County is looking for?
According to Canopy Growth’s Farm Manager Branson Skinner (pictured above), “Hemp is a transformative crop for many reasons. It uses fewer resources than other crops, especially cotton, and you can get a greater biomass for paper than trees.”
Canopy Growth is certainly proving the economic power of growing cannabis because according to their website, in 2014, it became the first cannabis company in North America to be publicly traded, and was recently listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Canopy Growth was able to farm hemp in New York State when Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 last December, which legalized the growing of hemp nationwide. It should be noted that hemp plants cannot have a THC concentration above .3 percent and hemp farms are regularly subjected to tests on their crop to make sure they stay within the allowed THC parameter.
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