The New York-based hemp brand Empire CBD recently announced it’s closing its six locations for good by April of 2022. According to Empire CBD’s founder Yardley Burgess, New York’s ever-changing hemp laws were the key reason he decided to close up shop this year.
Before announcing this recent closure, Empire CBD had six locations throughout Central New York. Currently, Yardley Burgess is only keeping his shop in the Destiny USA Mall in Syracuse open till he runs out of products. He expects Empire CBD will close in the first week of April.
On Empire CBD’s official website, Burgess says he got into the hemp business to help others feel the benefits he experienced with CBD oil. However, as Burgess tried to expand his hemp brand, he expressed frustration dealing with New York’s constantly changing cannabis laws.
Specifically, Burgess said he faced numerous challenges trying to sell CBD oils that farmers didn’t produce in New York State. Technically, all hemp-derived products sold within New York’s borders need to be grown and manufactured in the Empire State.
Burgess has also expressed frustration with New York’s restrictions on hemp-derived THC products. In particular, New York officials targeted businesses like Empire CBD for selling delta-8 THC vape carts, flowers, and edibles.
Once Burgess finishes closing Empire CBD, he says he would like to apply for a recreational cannabis permit. New York legalized recreational pot in 2021, but it has yet to roll out its official dispensary program. Recent reports suggest New Yorkers won’t be able to sell or buy legal weed till late 2022 or early 2023.
Wait, So Is Hemp Illegal In New York State?
CBD oil should be legal in New York. Both federal and state laws claim CBD products with ≤ 0.3 percent THC are OK for adults. However, there have been many instances where New York officials targeted CBD products — especially those produced out-of-state.
Famously, the NYPD led a raid on multiple CBD businesses in NYC in the summer of 2019. Officers seized dozens ofCBD-infused edibles from restaurants and hemp shops throughout the Big Apple. Referencing the FDA’s guidelines on hemp, New York officials claimed it’s still illegal to use CBD as a food additive.
While things may have cooled down since 2019, stories like Empire CBD’s closure suggest New York’s hemp policies remain unclear. The Empire State is also known for restricting access to hemp-derived delta-8 and delta-10 products.
Many people involved in the hemp industry are hopeful New York’s recreational cannabis program will clear away the current confusion in this emerging market. Once the state puts forward clear guidelines on operating a legal dispensary, it could get easier for hemp shop owners to know how to work in the state.
Until then, customers and hemp shop owners need to pay careful attention to any upcoming changes to the state’s hemp policy. Although CBD and delta-8 are technically legal under federal law, New York has been known to revise its stance multiple times.
Always Stay Up-To-Date On Hemp Laws With Real Tested CBD
The goal behind the 2018 US Farm Bill was to set up guidelines for hemp legislation. Although it’s clear how the federal government views hemp, hemp shoppers still have many questions at the state level. As this New York story reveals, the laws on CBD and delta-8 aren’t “set in stone.”
Anyone involved in the hemp market has to keep abreast of the latest changes in this evolving industry. To stay informed on CBD and delta-8 legality, we’d strongly encourage you to keep tabs on Real Tested CBD. Our team of hemp experts frequently posts timely articles and reviews to help you understand the current state of the hemp market.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.