Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation Friday allowing New Jersey to enact an industrial hemp program.
The law establishes a program for the cultivation, handling, processing, transport, and sale of hemp; and also repeals the New Jersey Industrial Hemp Pilot Program enacted in the fall.
“Garden State farmers are now able to increase and diversify their crop yield through cultivating industrial hemp,” said Sen. Steven Oroho, R-24th District, in a statement. “Found in more than 25,000 products, the versatile and profitable hemp plant will encourage new business growth and boost the state’s agricultural economy. With burdensome federal and state regulations removed, New Jersey farmers can greatly benefit from this potential billion-dollar industry.”
With burdensome federal and state regulations removed, New Jersey farmers can greatly benefit from this potential billion-dollar industry.
– Sen. Steven Oroho
Hemp was federally descheduled as a controlled substance in the 2018 Farm Bill, making way for states to start their own industrial hemp programs. A number of states got a head start with pilot programs allowed by the 2014 Farm Bill.
Industrial hemp can be used to create a variety of products including rope, textiles, paper, insulation, building materials. Cannabidiol, an active compound in hemp, can be extracted from hemp and infused into oils and personal care products.
The bill was sponsored by Oroho; Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-3rd District; Sen. Jim Beach, D-6th District; and Sen. Bob Andrzejczak, D-1st District.
Under the new law, farmers must receive a license to cultivate, handle, or process hemp from the Department of Agriculture. Those without authorization would be subject to penalties.