Regulators Can’t Keep Up With New York’s Booming Hemp Industry, Audit Finds

The program is rife with shoddy records

Regulatory oversight of New York’s progressive industrial hemp program has failed to keep pace with the associated production spurt, a comptroller’s audit concluded.

Crop testing is scattershot; grower applications are approved even if they are incomplete; and the program is rife with shoddy records, concludes a 14-page report issued Monday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office.

“The (state Department of Agriculture & Markets) likely does not have all the information it needs to effectively monitor who was harvesting plants,” the audit found.

Consequently, the state agency is often unable to determine if the harvested hemp meets the 0.3 percent limit on the psychoactive element in the plant that enables the crop to be classified as “industrial hemp,” escaping the federal controlled substance law.

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