New York has launched a web-based portal that will allow hemp farmers to apply for licenses to grow adult-use cannabis during the 2022 growing season, according to an announcement from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office.

“New York is moving full speed ahead to create the most inclusive adult-use cannabis industry in the nation through our Seeding Opportunity Initiative,” Hochul said in a public statement. “This initiative will create meaningful opportunities for economic empowerment for New York farmers and impacted communities. Now that our application portal is open, I encourage every eligible New York farmer to participate in the farm-to-sale pipeline that will create jobs and opportunity throughout the Empire State.”

The portal, which went live March 15, allows eligible hemp farmers to apply for Conditional Adult-Use Cannabis Cultivator licenses, which were created through legislation that Hochul signed into law last month.

RELATED: Inside New York’s Legislation to Allow Hemp Farmers to Grow Cannabis for the State’s Adult-Use Market

To qualify for a license, an applicant must have been an authorized industrial hemp research partner for the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, growing hemp for at least two of the last four years and in good standing as of Dec. 31, 2021, when the research program ended.

Applicants must pay a non-refundable $2,000 application and licensing fee. Additional program guidance can be found here.

Once licensed, the farmers must meet certain requirements under the law, including safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly cultivation practices; participation in a social equity and mentorship program; and entrance into a labor peace agreement with a bona fide labor organization, according to Hochul’s announcement.

The licenses allow farms to grow cannabis for the adult-use market outdoors or in a greenhouse for up to two years. Licensees are limited to one acre of flowering canopy outdoors or 25,000 square feet in a greenhouse with up to 20 artificial lights. Grow space can be split between outdoor and greenhouse operations, with a maximum total canopy of 30,000 square feet, as long as the flowering canopy in the greenhouse is under 20,000 square feet.

Licensed farmers will be permitted to manufacture and distribute cannabis flower products without holding an adult-use processor or distributor licenses until June 1, 2023.

“We are thrilled to open this portal and start the process of issuing our first licenses for the adult-use cannabis market,” Tremaine Wright, chair of the New York Cannabis Control Board, said in a public statement. “These licenses will position New York’s farmers as the first growers in the New York adult-use market. Their products will supply our equity-entrepreneur-owned dispensaries through the Seeding Opportunity Initiative as we strive to build a safe, equitable and stable industry.”

The Seeding Opportunity Initiative, announced last week, aims to prioritize those most impacted by the war on drugs in the adult-use cannabis licensing process while allowing the state to launch adult-use sales before the end of the year.

RELATED: New York Will Issue First Adult-Use Dispensary Licenses to Applicants with Cannabis-Related Convictions

“Opening this portal today is the next step in bringing Gov. Hochul’s Seeding Opportunity Initiative to life as we break the mold and connect New York farmers to equity entrepreneurs who will make the first adult-use cannabis sales before the year is out,” Chris Alexander, executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management, said in a public statement. “These products will be grown sustainably and we will be partnering our licensees with equity mentees to build a mentorship program that creates another pathway for licensure. This is just another example of our work to ensure access and participation of our equity entrepreneurs across all license types.”