New York comptroller audit finds fault with hemp industry regulation


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An audit by the state comptroller’s office has found numerous faults in regulatory oversight of New York’s industrial hemp program.

A report released Monday concluded that crop testing is haphazard, approval is granted to incomplete grower applications, and there are inconsistencies in record keeping, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.

“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.

Auditors found that the Agriculture Department inspected 57% of crops to ensure they were below the mandated limit of 0.3% THC. When a plant tested higher that the limit, the department failed to inspect growers using the same seed lot.

“The department’s incomplete hard copy files and tracking spreadsheets made it difficult to assess whether the department sampled all high-risk growers, specifically those harvesting hemp for CBD,” the report said.

A representative from the agency told the paper that the agency agreed with the comptroller’s conclusions and promised to improve record keeping.