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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved New Jersey's plan to allow farmers in the state to begin growing and producing hemp and hemp products. New Jersey, Louisiana and Ohio were the only states given clearance. State Agriculture Secretary Doug Fisher says hemp is used to make rope, building materials, clothing, oils. "The hemp plant is one of the oldest known plants for commercial use in the world," Fisher said.
According to a 2018 Congressional Research Service report, there are more than 25,000 reported uses for industrial hemp products around the world. Industrial hemp is grown mainly for fiber production like fabrics and yarns.
Fisher says hemp comes from the same plant as marijuana, cannabis sativa, except hemp does't contain enough of the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, to get anyone high.
Fisher says they are hoping processors will come to New Jersey to process hemp oil, because most of the money is in CBD oils. Hemp is also grown for the production of cannabidol oil, which is extracted from resins produced largely in its flowers and used as a health supplement.
More Hemp News
Sussex County’s legislative representatives recently commended the state and Agriculture Secretary Doug Fisher for quick work on the rules allowing the production of hemp and hemp products in the new year.Sen. Steve Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths, all R-24th Dist., sponsored legislation, signed into law in August, paving the way for the production in the Garden State of industrial hemp, a strain of the cannabis sativa plant that is grown specifically for industrial uses.The state Department of Agriculture released its rules last week after getting a green light from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“This is good news for farmers, businesses and consumers in New Jersey,” said Oroho in a prepared statement. “Hemp is a versatile and profitable cash crop that can bring new revenue to cash-strapped farmers. I am pleased the state has taken the necessary steps to make this opportunity a reality in 2020.”According to the agriculture department, applications for the 2020 New Jersey Hemp Program are expected to be available on it website within the next week.Hemp was removed from the controlled substance list in the 2018 federal “Farm Bill.” The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates the plant may be used in more than 25,000 products. The varied uses include: fiber, building materials, plastic and composite materials, paper, animal bedding, water and soil purification, weed control, cosmetics, automotive parts, furniture, agricultural applications, and biofuels.“This is an exciting new industry and everyone from the farmers to homeowners stand to benefit,” said Wirths, also in a prepared statement.
Hemp will be permitted to be grown in New Jersey does not contain the substances that are in medical or recreational marijuana. It is related to and looks like marijuana but contains only traces of THC.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved industrial hemp licensing plans for Louisiana,Ohio and New Jersey on Dec. 27. The three states are the first to get such approval, though 34 other states have hemp research or pilot projects under a 2014 law. The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 47 states have passed laws for industrial hemp cultivation and production.