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 in late December.
“We are pleased that New Jersey is among the initial states in the country that can offer the opportunity to grow hemp,” Governor Murphy said. “This can be another economic benefit to our agricultural community and we believe our proximity to several major metro areas is one of the reasons the Garden State is attractive to new business.”
Hemp applications, rules, and regulations can be found at https://www.state.nj.us/agriculture/divisions/pi/prog/nj_hemp.html.
“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 industrial 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) or fiber production (fabrics, yarns, paper products, construction materials, etc.). Hemp is also grown to produce cannabidiol oil extracted from resins produced largely in its flowers. CBD is used as a health supplement with purported health benefits including pain relief, 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 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.
In the federal 2018 Farm Bill, hemp was re-classified as an agricultural crop and, through that action, hemp farming was made legal in the country.
To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture visit www.facebook.com/NJDeptofAgriculture and www.facebook.com/JerseyFreshOfficial.