TRENTON, N.J. — Governor Philip Murphy and Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher announced today that applications for potential growers and processors of hemp are now available on the Department’s website. New Jersey is one of the first three states to have its hemp plan approved by the USDA.
“Hemp is a rapidly growing industry that will be used statewide to produce a variety of manufactured and consumer products,” said Governor Murphy. “By establishing our hemp production, New Jersey will lead the nation with this economic opportunity that will create jobs and attract new businesses, which will build a stronger and fairer New Jersey for all.”
Hemp applications, rules, and regulations can be found at http://bit.ly/35dzAQW.
“There has been considerable interest in this crop from both growers and processors,” Secretary Fisher said. “There is a long list of products that can be made with hemp and we expect to be a leader in cultivating, processing, and selling products that are derived from hemp.”
There are more than 25,000 reported uses for hemp products globally according to a 2018 Congressional Research Service report. Hemp is grown mainly for seed production (food products, culinary oils, soaps, lotions, cosmetics) and fiber production (fabrics, yarns, paper products, construction materials, etc.). Hemp is also grown to produce cannabidiol (CBD) oil extracted from resins produced largely in its flowers. CBD is used as a health supplement with purported health benefits including pain relief, reducing inflammation, and others.
New Jersey hemp legislation at the state-level was signed into law by Governor Murphy on August 9, 2019, after which followed the process of New Jersey filing for USDA approval.
The NJDA’s Division of Plant Industry will be responsible for inspecting hemp-growing facilities and testing hemp varieties to ensure that the THC content is within the limits set by the USDA. The manufacturing of products for human and animal consumption derived from hemp remains within the purview of the Federal Food & Drug Administration.
Industrial hemp (cannabis sativa) was a major crop grown in America starting in the Colonial period, and was used for textiles, paper, and rope, and continues to this day to be used in fiberboard, construction materials, protein for both humans and livestock, lubricating oils, and energy-producing biomass.
Mass production of hemp in the United States ended in 1970 with the passage of the Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, under which hemp was classified as an illicit drug due to its relationship with its cousin, marijuana.
In the federal 2018 Farm Bill, hemp was re-classified as an agricultural crop and, through that action, hemp farming was once again made legal in the country.
–Jeff Wolfe, New Jersey Department of Agriculture