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Marijuana legalization could help struggling farms in rural, Upstate NY

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to begin the new year pushing for the legalization of recreational marijuana, which could be good news for farmers. The growing number of vaping-related lung illnesses, however, could complicate the debate.

Sen. Jen Metzger, the chair of the New York State Senate Agricultural Committee, says legalizing marijuana could help small rural farms in New York in a big way. She’s pushing to make sure some of these family-owned businesses get a shot at cultivating marijuana.

Metzger says when marijuana is legalized in the state, only a certain number of licenses will likely be granted by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets.

“I want to make sure that whatever legislation passes, it passes in a way that benefits our small farmers, that benefits our family farms and … the cultivation of it (marijuana) does not become a commodity of industrial agriculture,” Metzger said.

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