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NYS Office of Cannabis Management Visits Weed Plantations in East End of Long Island

marijuana farm tour long island

SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY — It’s time for a Long Island farm tour, but an East End tour isn’t about pumpkins. It’s about pots.

Jennifer McLogan of UKTN joined state cannabis managers from Albany on Tuesday as they visited smaller growers preparing for the first crop of adult marijuana.

“I’ve never used marijuana or cannabis,” said Bill Bianchi, a 92-year-old former Suffolk County councilor.

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Still, Bianchi is Long Island’s newest pot farmer.

“New York State is now licensing me to grow it, so I’m excited to do another crop. I’ve grown orchids all my life,” Bianchi said.

READ MORE: Struggling New York ranches look to recreational weed for business

Bianchi is known for his beautiful orchids, but within 10 days one of his greenhouses is switching to cannabis, where costly upgrades in water, shelving and lighting are ready for his new plants.

“I told my staff that last year we had a choice, tomatoes or cannabis, and they all voted for the cannabis,” Bianchi said.

On the other side of Long Island’s East End, the state’s cannabis control board is touring newly licensed farms.

“This is something that the farmers are excited about. There’s a fun one, almost like a pumpkin patch, for example. This is what we’re doing, a field trip for the state government,” said Trivette Knowles of the state office of Cannabis Management.

READ MORE: NY Man Who Served Time on Weed Fees Hoping for License to Sell Weed

McLogan saw dry plants plucked from the wet fields on a bleak day by the North Fork. From seed to seedling to eventual smokeable buds, the stage of every potted plant grown in the state is tracked and recorded.

“They grow vegetables and cannabis here,” said Damian Fagon, Chief Equity Officer of the Office of Cannabis Management. “Multi-generational family farms in New York growing the first legal cannabis crop.”

The Office of Cannabis Management says New York’s nurseries have been the backbone of the state economy since before the American Revolution, and now the nurseries will be the hub of the country’s most equitable cannabis industry.

“Suddenly it’s very exciting to be pushed into this new industry and I think it’s going to be good for the people of New York,” Bianchi said.

The product grown on these farms will be on the shelves of the first adult pharmacies, will open later this year.