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Washington County hemp farmer is high on local cannabis market

Mark Mulholland
Updated: November 04, 2019 05:29 PM
Created: November 04, 2019 05:24 PM

HEBRON - Rich Taylor has been growing hops in Washington County for 6 years.

The flower goes into beer he makes and sells at his RS Taylor and Sons brewpubs in Hebron and Saratoga Springs.

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Taylor is now also in the hemp business. Once it became legal, he planted 6,000 plants and harvested them this year. The bud of the hemp plant is where CBD oil comes from.

Taylor packages and sells the oil, which can be used for anything from anxiety to arthritis, under the name Landcraft Wellness.

"It seemed like a natural extension to what we were doing, hoping that at some point in time and maybe very soon, that hemp will be allowed to be used in beer."

Taylor is one of the presenters at a Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce event this week that will explore the economic impact of cannabis.

The mayor of Boulder, Colorado will also take part about how legalization of marijuana affected his resort city.

Chamber president Todd Shimkus says his organization isn't advocating for making it legal, but his members want to what to expect if it does.

"To understand the trends and where this whole industry may go and the sectors that could benefit from it," said Shimkus.

The hemp that Rich Taylor grows is not marijuana. Hemp has a very small amount of THC, the ingredient that causes people to become "high." Taylor says making it legal to grow and sell marijuana and expanding the allowed uses of CBD, including as an ingredient in beer and food, will be good for the area economy.

"There's huge market out there, and we want to be a part of it."

The chamber's workshop is Friday morning at 10 at SUNY Adirondack's Wilton campus.


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