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State Senator

Saud Anwar

Representing East Hartford, Ellington, East Windsor and South Windsor

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Senator Anwar, Representative Currey, Department of Agriculture Commissioner, Local and Business Leaders Celebrate Legalization of Hemp Farming

Senate Democrats Photo
Senate Democrats Photo

Political and business leaders, including State Senator Saud Anwar (third from left), South Windsor Mayor Andrew Paterna (second from right) and State Representative Jeff Currey (right) join together in South Windsor Wednesday to celebrate planting of hemp plants after legalization of growing the plant; Sen. Anwar joins workers Wednesday as they plant hemp in the field.

SOUTH WINDSOR, CT – Today, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor), State Representative Jeff Currey (D-South Windsor), Department of Agriculture Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt, South Windsor Mayor Andrew Paterna, South Windsor Town Manager Michael Maniscalco, UConn Agricultural Extension Assistant Director Bonnie Burr, Farids Founder and Managing Partner Tariq Farid, Farids Chief Operating Officer Ron Reynolds and Kasheta Farms Owner Ed Kasheta gathered in South Windsor to celebrate the legalization of hemp farming in Connecticut.

Under the state pilot program approved during this year’s legislative session, a private-public partnership between Kasheta, Farids LLC and the Town of South Windsor is now growing hemp, a crop that has a plethora of business, industrial and personal uses – one of dozens planning to begin growing the crop. The partners are taking full advantage of the pilot’s quick adoption – it is expected to grow almost 20 acres of hemp products in South Windsor this year. That’s the highest raw acreage of hemp production in Connecticut, with all of the crops able to support and benefit businesses in the state. CBD is a byproduct of hemp with health benefits that does not contain active THC, the main ingredient found in cannabis. Incredible Edibles plans to open storefronts where it will offer health-conscious food products, some infused with CBD. This is just one example of the many business uses the plant will see in the future.

“As a State Senator, I’ve been working with my fellow Senators and Representatives on the hemp bill, and we were looking at the real aspect of how it will impact our towns, businesses and communities,” said Sen. Anwar. “Now, it becomes real when you touch these plants and the soil where they will go. That bill, which started on paper, has now become real as we prepare to plant. I am honored and excited to be here. Today is a special day.”

“The budding hemp industry, an initiative championed and supported by both sides of the aisle, is a new market our state is tapping into to establish new business opportunities as we continue to revitalize our economy,” said Rep. Currey. “This crop has almost unlimited applications from medicine to consumer products and we are fortunate to have South Windsor farmers leading the way.”

“What’s great about this program is it shows how diverse and complex this is, and how it can all come together when everybody’s working together,” said Commissioner Hurlburt. “We took the best practices from across the nation to make this a real opportunity for Connecticut farmers. We wanted to provide the platform and create the opportunity, making it easy for farmers to apply, get their license and do what we know they can do: plant and grow a remarkable product. We also have the Department of Consumer Protection to make sure consumers are buying something they know is real, local and could be good for them. It is exciting to see how, when we created that opportunity, people have figured out what they need to do to make sure this is a success for everybody. This is the first real step to show what we’ve done is real so people can take advantage of it.”

“You’re opening the doors to keep agriculture alive in Connecticut,” said Ed Kasheta of Kasheta Farms. “We’ve got to do something to diversify agriculture and keep Connecticut farms alive, and this is a great help.”

“At the heart of this, you’re talking about a groundbreaking pilot program where you have a group of stakeholders working very collaboratively,” said Ron Reynolds, Farids Chief Operating Officer. “We have almost $250,000 of effort and value poured into these 20 acres so we can get information we can share in the public domain. Everything we learn, every plant that we harvest, everything will be public information. When I had the opportunity to present to the South Windsor community, I emphasized we need to make sure we understand this industry and we cannot be successful standing on the sidelines. None of this would be happening without the efforts of everyone involved.”

“It’s important to understand and remember that farmers built this community,” said South Windsor Mayor Andrew Paterna. “This partnership is returning the favor. When this project was presented to the town, we didn’t just stand on the sidelines; we wanted to be part of the project. We hope this is as successful as we dream it will be, and we all have high expectations.”

 

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