TOWN OF UNION (WBNG) — The hemp industry is growing across New York State, and here in Broome county, a local business is more than doubling its production this season.
Hemp farmer Michael Maione helps run AgZeit Farms, and is on his land 16 hours a day putting his farm and faith into the new crop.
“We’ve been hitting it as fast and as hard as we can,” said Maione, whose family purchased unused farmland in the Town of Union for his new crop just three months ago. “There wasn’t a lot of time for preparations, it was just kind of last minute. We got the plants, they went in the ground, and people have just been coming together just to ensure the future of the crop.”
AgZeit is planting hemp for the first time this season with the help of CSG Hemp. The company provides the hemp plants to 18 farms across the state.
“It’s really an agricultural effort that you need other people to work together for, it’s a new commodity, a new crop and were all learning together,” said Maione.
The hemp at this farm will eventually turn into CBD, which is commonly sold as an oil and is believed to help with anxiety, pain and certain disorders.
“I mean we’ve just seen it take off and really this is a culmination of Donna Lupardo and Gov. Cuomo’s efforts dating back to 2015. We’ve got federal legitimacy last December with the farm bill and now investment is pouring in. Consumers are loving CBD,” said CSG CEO Kaelan Castetter.
Castetter said the CBD industry is one taking root in Broome County.
In the past year, CSG’s operation has more than doubled, growing from six farms to 18.
“Hemp is going to be great for farmers but in Broome County more so its going to be a resurgence in manufacturing. Manufacturing, innovation, entrepreneurship, I think we can become a hub for cannabis and hemp throughout the state and throughout the country,” said Castetter.