New York strives to become a national leader.
In 2015, Assemblymember Donna Lupardo (D-123) recognized the potential of hemp and moved to create the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. As one of the State's first hemp operations, Kaelan and Jim worked closely with Lupardo to help cultivate a vision of the Empire State becoming a global leader for hemp.
To achieve these goals, the Castetter Sustainability Group was formed with the mission to bring experience, knowledge, and passion to the New York cannabis industry.
Our small but experienced team quickly became a leader in ensuring fair policy was implemented, working closely with lawmakers, regulators, and the Governor's Office.
In 2019, we became founding members of the New York Cannabis Growers & Processors Association, a powerful voice in Albany on hemp and adult-use legalization.
Kaelan has been in the New York hemp industry since 2015 as the founder of Sovereign Vines: America’s Only Hemp Infused Wine and Castetter Sustainability Group (CSG), receiving the first issued hemp processor license in 2017. As CEO, he has developed CSG as a leader in helping New York hemp companies, and farmers navigate the complex supply-chain, regulations, and compliance on a state and national level. He strives to make CSG a leader in political, regulatory, and compliance advisement throughout the state and helping small businesses succeed in all sectors of the cannabis markets. Kaelan is also a co-founder of the New York Cannabis Growers & Processors Association, a group that was heavily involved in discussions around adult-use cannabis legalization and helped to write the Hemp Extract Bill during the 2019 legislative session.
COO & CFO
Amman began his career pioneering the design of operational risk scenarios at Barclays Investment Bank. Prior to that, he received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from the State University of New York at Geneseo. Specializing in corporate finance, business strategy & risk management, his skillset complements the company’s operations in navigating the nascent cannabis industry. He has assisted clients in financial projection modeling, market analysis, and risk calculation. Amman guides CCG towards success with an emphasis on integrity, creativity, and passion.
Chief Agricultural Officer
Aldous is an expert in the genetic development and cultivation of cannabis. He has a lifetime of experience spearheading commercial growing operations throughout North America. His scientific knowledge combined with years of practical experience has honed his careful approach to the cultivation of industrial hemp. He has become a trusted source of information for hemp growers throughout the State looking for advice on facility design, pest management, fertilization plans, and more.
Chief Sales Officer
Jim is the originator of hemp-infused wine, breaking out his innovative product in 1997, working with hemp producers in the Netherlands and Germany. He has watched and participated in the development of industrial hemp from a small movement to a billion-dollar industry. He has also spent years as a master mechanic and auto racing marshal, bringing his passion for excellence to everything he does. Between his time pioneering hemp-infused wine and forming CCG, Jim led the Northeast in sales at Verizon. With his experience and invaluable skills, Jim delivers the ideal balance of experience and creativity.
Director of Business Development
Viraj Mehta is an experienced project manager, specializing in the legal cannabis sector. He is the President & Founder of Green Wolverine’s Binghamton Chapter, the first and largest national student professional organization, focused on opportunities for success in legal cannabis or related fields. In the summer of 2019, he assisted in the management of a 30-acre hemp cultivation project in North Carolina from seed to sale. Viraj has led & consulted on various projects in the sector, leveraging a combination of creative, analytical, and leadership skills. At CCG, he ensures the success of our clients by coordinating our team of experts and analysts to deliver the highest level of advisement.
Jamison has an impeccable eye for design and creating innovative branding. He is responsible for creating CCG media. He works with New York businesses to introduce hemp into their brand. Jamison has a background in graphic design, budgeted media production, 3D modeling and rendering, photography, and visual effects.
Lead Policy Analyst
Joe Vitale is currently earning his bachelor’s degree in History and German Studies from Binghamton, where his academic work has led to various awards, research positions, and publications in scholarly journals. Combining his vast research experience with a fine eye for details, Joe delivers in-depth regulatory analysis and compliance research at CCG.
Business Development Analyst
David is a highly driven and creative individual currently finishing off his Bachelor’s Degree at SUNY Binghamton and has been accepted into Binghamton’s Fast-Track MBA program. David also serves at the Vice-President of Green Wolverine (Binghamton), the first and largest national student organization devoted to professional opportunities within the legal cannabis sector. Previously, David worked as a Marketing Intern at the re-established Goto.com, Inc. specializing in search engine optimization. He is currently serving on the advisory board for Wheel It Forward, a non-for-profit durable medical equipment lending library serving Fairfield County Connecticut. Above all else, David is excited to utilize his knowledge and expertise in order to contribute to a bright and successful future at CCG.
Sarah McGovern is currently earning her Bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University majoring in Political Science and minoring in Russian and Theatre. She has previously worked for Congressman Tonko (NY-20) and Congressman Brindisi (NY-22), working with constituents and various government agencies. Through these experiences, she has gained an understanding of policy and its effect on individuals and the private sector. Sarah is excited to join CCG and to contribute to creating a vibrant and equitable industry in New York State.
James grew up in the Binghamton area. After high school James joined an apprenticeship program with a local union. He is a qualified Journeyperson as a skilled construction craft laborer with ten years of experience as a general contractor and labor foreman.
A policy analyst and researcher for CSG since the winter of 2018, Jack takes pride in keeping clients updated on cannabis policy and news through the company newsletter, Tap Root. Additionally, he supplies the research necessary to keep clients in compliance.
Jack earned a double B.A. in Russian Studies and History from Binghamton in May 2019