Seneca Nation Hemp Production application changes and looking forward to 2021 outdoor production

By Jessica Crouse

The Seneca Nation Hemp Producer License Application period for 2020-2021 outdoor production is set to be open continuously until March 15, 2021, then going-forward the outdoor production application period will be November 1-March 15. However, the application period will remain open year-round for indoor production operations. The unforeseen COVID-19 situation has thrown off many timelines for the program, yet agriculture marches on.

The application will no longer require: irrigation plan, seed acquisition plan, propagule plan, fertilizer application plan, or security plan. The streamlining of the process is a reflection of the due diligence a producer shall take in safeguarding their investment of resources.

The hemp industry is changing, its fast growth has deluged the market, the economy has shifted demand, of which has forced many to exit or change their approach to production goals. The importance of securing a buyer or solid contract has precedence, and there are still many opportunities to be had as there is some great research and development happenings in our region. Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. has been a market leader in the cannabidiol (CBD) arena, and this past spring announced establishing CW Labs within the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in partnership with SUNY Buffalo. Their plan is to conduct formalized testing into the science, efficacy and safety of hemp plant compounds. Other notable institutions that CW Labs has partnered with are Cornell University and Johns Hopkins University. With the concentration of minds and energies into such an endeavor it may advance and meld the industry to a higher standard for the consumer’s health and safety, rather sooner than later.

This development comes at a time when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDAs) release of “Draft Guidance to Encourage Cannabis-Related Clinical Research.” For, it gives nod to responsible parties to help advance the creation of cannabis-derived compounds and to further understand the mechanisms of cannabis to address public health concerns. Under the current FDA framework, there is only one approved drug product to treat two rare, severe pediatric epilepsy disorders. So, the FDA is continuously tasked to monitor the multitude of products on the market. Their lens of scrutiny often targets CBD products being marketed with claims of therapeutic benefit, and misleading or improper labeling. This past August, the FDA seeks to fulfil a contract to pull thousands of CBD products to test for quality and to quantify contents. Public health is at the axis of their actions, for in some previous results they have found products with unsafe levels of contaminants such as: heavy metals, pesticides, industrial chemicals, solvents, and microbial contaminants.

So, with keeping public safety in-mind and ensuring a quality crop is associated with the Seneca Nation, any hemp produced on our lands will be tested for pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, microbial impurities, and mycotoxins. Thus, not only will human health be safeguarded, but it extends to our environment as well.

Keep an eye-out for release of our newly developed website to access information and applications. If you have any questions about Hemp Production Licensing, please feel free to contact: Jessica Crouse, Hemp Compliance Administrator at (716) 945-1790 extension #3039 or email me at Jessica.Crouse@sni.org.