A former state prison in Orange County, New York has been transformed into the Kaycha Labs medical cannabis and hemp testing facility, Mid-Hudson News reports. The medium-security prison was closed in 2011 but previously served as a youth reform farm started by then-Gov. Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
After the state closed the prison, the land was acquired by the Town of Warwick which established the Warwick Valley Office of Technology and Corporate Park.
Mike Sweeton, Town of Warwick supervisor, said officials are hoping to attract other hemp businesses to the area.
“We settled very quickly on a hemp development cluster in Warwick.” – Sweeton to the News
However, New York Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball said last month officials do not intend to submit a state plan for the 2021 hemp growing season unless the U.S. Department of Agriculture changes certain program requirements. New Yorkers are still able to obtain hemp cultivation licenses through the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service but would be beholden to federal, rather than state, rules.
The 9,000-square-foot testing lab boasts a 48-hour turnaround time and is one of the most advanced cannabis and hemp testing labs in the state. Marco Pedone, the lab’s co-founder, said that they will test for potency, pesticides, biotoxins, and heavy metals.
The lab would also test cannabis for recreational sales, which will likely be a legislative priority for New York lawmakers next session after two years of start-and-stop negotiations and an extraordinary budget deficit caused, in part, by the state’s coronavirus shutdown.