BRIDGEHAMPTON, N.Y. (FOX 5 NY) - Even though it's the off-season and no plants are in the ground, the CBD business for farmer David Falkowski is year round and booming.
"Hemp is varieties of cannabis that are low in THC, the intoxicating compound," said Falkowski, the owner of Open Minded Organics on the east end of Long Island.
He started with mushrooms and expanded to flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Now Falkowski is one of about 100 growers in New York approved to grow hemp for the purpose of CBD products.
"We're farmers," Falkowski said. "We grow things that enhance people's lives whether it's food or in the case of CBD here this is one of the many things that is extracted from the hemp plant."
The advancement of hemp policies was put on hold because of the government shutdown. Now that it is open, Falkowski is moving forward with the guidance he has as its uncharted territory for everyone.
"We're truly vertically integrated," Falkowski said, "so all the way from planting the seeds in the greenhouses and field, harvesting, drying, processing, packaging, owning retail locations and stuff."
He is in the process of opening a storefront to sell CBD oil and other wellness products.
CBD, which is derived from cannabis, can be used topically or ingested to help with sleep and relief of joint pain. Contrary to popular belief, it is heavily regulated and can't get you high.
"It's not that CBD is the only thing in cannabis that brings these therapeutic properties that we're starting to see and are being proved by science, it's just that we're rediscovering it," Falkowski said.
He said he believes in small, local farming and hopes to double the number of employees he has working for him by the end of the year.