MOUNT MORRIS, N.Y. — Snow is on the ground and the growing season is over for craft hemp farmer Marvin Morales, owner of Morales Organic Craft Cannabis. But there’s still work to do on his farm in Mount Morris.
His hemp harvest of the fall has now mostly dried, but there are still roots here drying out.
“During harvest and after harvest, all of these tables would be lined up and all of these lines would be full of buds, and every table would be full with buds also, so you’re talking a lot of product, a lot of product,” he said.
To the naked eye, the plants look like marijuana, but they’re not the same.
“Obviously the difference is in the product itself, the effect of the product, this doesn’t have the psycho effect, CBD doesn’t have the psycho effect that marijuana does,” said Morales.
Both the hemp buds and the roots have medicinal purposes.
Although they’re different plants, hemp farmers are hopeful the push to legalize recreational marijuana in the state would erase the current ban on hemp flowers.
“I’m kind of in limbo now waiting for that, so legalizing cannabis is going to be fantastic, it’s going to do a lot for the farmers, but we can’t hinder the farmers,” he said.
That’s a big sticking point, because Morales transitioned from traditional farming to hemp for the larger profit.
“Still a lot of work, but there’s a hundred times more profit from growing hemp and I think there are a lot of farmers like myself that are looking forward to that,” he said.
This past year, he grew more than 700 hemp plants on the one acre lot in Livingston County, but the current ban hit his profits. So Morales is hopeful state lawmakers will legalize recreational marijuana and lift the ban on selling hemp flowers.
“There is such a large amount of tax revenue that could be obtained from this, so helping the farmer out by lifting that ban is really crucial,” he said.