In October, Witte told Business Insider that New York's unclear regulations for CBD were preventing Recess from investing more in the state.
"For companies like us that would be investing significantly more in New York state, we'd be hiring a lot more and investing a lot more and kind of sales and marketing in New York if the regulatory environment was more clear," Witte said. "We had to shift our manufacturing, the state of New York because of the fact that we remain in a state of limbo."
The legislation signed by Cuomo on December 9 "establishes a state permitting process for growers, processors and sellers of hemp extract" and "requires laboratory testing of hemp products, including CBD, and product labeling," according to the governor's website.
"We were pleased to learn that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at last signed legislation to provide a much-needed regulatory framework for the growth and sale of hemp here in New York State," Witte told Business Insider the day after Cuomo's action. "While a big step in the right direction, we at Recess look forward to continuing to work closely with the Governor, oversight agencies and the industry to ensure that hemp products are produced, packaged and sold safely for all consumers."
Despite New York's slowness to provide a regulatory framework for CBD, Witte is glad he launched Recess in New York.
"I think New York is the best place in the world to build a consumer brand. And for beverages in particular, it's also the best, but hardest market," Witte explained. In a condensed borough like Manhattan, with bodegas around every corner, accounts are plentiful and brand awareness spreads fast. Furthermore, "For the community we're looking to cultivate, creatives, this is obviously ground zero for that," Witte said.
Though conventional wisdom would say to launch a CBD company in southern California, Witte knew Recess belonged in New York.
"You want to establish your brand outside of the California marijuana echo chamber," Witte said.