Sen. Schumer wants to make it easier for NY’s hemp farmers to get funding

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CORTLANDVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — After two years of hard work, Main Street Farms in Cortlandville is nearly ready for its second crop.

“And then after that, we’ll harvest all the flowers and that’s what we’ll process into oil,” Allen Gandelman said.

That’s CBD oil, a product growing in popularity and Gandelman has 40 acres worth.

“We sell to thousands and thousands of people,” Gandelman said.

But getting this far financially hasn’t been easy. They have been fighting the stigma of hemp, which is a relative of marijuana. Gandelman says many banks still see this plant only as its cousin and that comes at a cost.

“It’s hard to totally quantify because the industry is growing so fast, but we’re talking about hundreds of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Gandelman.

Loan options are limited and even opening a bank account can be touch. Gandelman tried five times before a local credit union came in to help. Now, Sen. Charles Schumer is hoping to help.

“I will be pushing federal regulators to quickly issue guidelines so that banks and financial institutions will issue loans and give services to all industrial hemp-related activities,” said Schumer, D-New York.

Main Street Farms will dry 40 acres of hemp when it’s harvested in mid-September, but now they can only process 20 acres. The hope is by changing these banking guidelines, they’ll be able to secure more money and expand their processing and meet their needs.

Gandelman said, “This would have ripple effects across the whole manufacturing industry, but also through the 500 farmers in New York right now who are growing hemp.”

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