07.03.19

ON A PERSONAL PHONE CALL WITH NEW CEO OF CANOPY GROWTH, SCHUMER SECURES COMMITMENT FROM NEW LEADERSHIP THAT $125M INVESTMENT IN THE SOUTHERN TIER REMAINS UNAFFECTED; SENATOR SAYS PROJECT REMAINS UNTOUCHED & CANOPY WILL STILL BRING FIRST-EVER HEMP INDUSTRIAL PARK & HUNDREDS OF JOBS TO BROOME COUNTY

On Wednesday Morning, Canopy Growth Announced Mark Zekulin As Company’s New Interim CEO 

Schumer Today Called Zekulin To Ensure Leadership Transition Would Not Result In Any Changes To Company’s Planned First-Ever Hemp Industrial Park In Broome County; Receives Commitment From Zekulin Investment Will Go Unaltered

Schumer: Full Steam Ahead For Canopy In Broome County!

On a personal call with new Interim CEO of Canopy Growth Mark Zekulin, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today pushed for and received assurances that the company’s leadership change would not impact its $125 million investment in Broome County. Schumer announced in January that Canopy would be establishing a first-of-its-kind hemp industrial park in the Southern Tier, which would not only position the region at the forefront of the nation’s industrial hemp revolution, but also create hundreds of good-paying jobs. Schumer thanked Zekulin and Canopy for their commitment to turning the Southern Tier into the Silicon Valley of industrial hemp and vowed to work in lock-step with the company to further boost the burgeoning industry in the region.

“While I was concerned following the announcement of Canopy’s change in leadership, I’m thrilled to announce that I just got off the phone with Interim CEO Mark Zekulin and received a firm commitment that the company’s planned investment in Broome County will not be impacted,” said Senator Schumer. “Canopy will still be bringing hundreds of good-paying jobs to the Southern Tier, with the potential for further expansion, and working around the clock to turn the region into a hotbed for the hemp industry. I want to thank Mr. Zekulin and Canopy for their unyielding commitment to Broome County, which will result in new opportunities for growers while helping to provide a real boon to local farmers and boost to this burgeoning industry.”

Schumer has been a leader at the federal level in creating a permissible pathway for the commercial cultivation of industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity, paving the way for major economic development projects like the hemp industrial park to take root while also working closely with agricultural and industry stakeholders to pass his bipartisan legislation the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 included in the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill.

On the heels of the passage of this landmark legislation, Schumer called on industrial hemp leaders to consider the Southern Tier as an ideal spot for expansion into the industrial hemp industry.  And earlier this year he announced they heeded his call—announcing that Canopy Growth was poised to make a $125-$150M investment into the Southern Tier. Schumer explained that this project will bring hundreds of good-paying jobs to Broome County, with the potential to add many more as more industry-oriented businesses locate in the area, as well as position the Southern Tier at the forefront of the industrial hemp revolution.

The Schumer-backed Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was introduced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), passed and signed into law as part of the 2018 Farm Bill, and does the following:

  • Removes industrial hemp from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act
  • Empowers states to be the principal regulators of hemp
  • Allows hemp researchers to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Makes hemp farmers eligible to apply for crop insurance

Industrial hemp is a type of cannabis plant that is grown largely for industrial uses, but it can also be utilized for food, oil, and cosmetic products. Hemp contains a very small amount, typically between 0.2 and 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and while from the same species of plant as marijuana, it has varied widely in use. However, due to the existence of THC in hemp, Schumer explained, both plants were considered “controlled substances” under federal law, meaning the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was the primary regulator for hemp production. Schumer argued that this narrow view has undermined the crop’s agricultural and economic potential. With the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 passed by Congress and signed into law last year, this unnecessary roadblock has been lifted, and industrial hemp’s significant potential to become a cash crop in Upstate New York’s will be unleashed.

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