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HEMP MEANS NEW JERSEY HEMP


With the approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, New Jersey’s jump into the hemp circus to become the 47th state to allow growing the stuff within their borders. Meanwhile, the state was among the first three to receive the USDA’s official federal endorsement. Thus, New Jersey hemp can carry the "SEAL OF APPROVAL" as a federal endorsement.

Hemp is a close cousin of what most of the world knows as marijuana. Both are forms of cannabis. In some cases, the two varieties are indistinguishable without testing. The major difference between the two varieties is this: Hemp by definition must contain less than 0.3 percent of THC, the intoxicating compound that gives marijuana its kick. Some experimental hemp growers have a hard time keeping THC below that limit. Where marijuana is grown for its psychoactive effects, industrial hemp is cultivated to be used as paper, textiles, building materials, food, oils, and dietary supplements such as CBD.

Nationwide, farmers, last year grew more than 500,000 acres of hemp in 34 states. That’s up from 112,000 acres in 2018, according to our source. The CBD market alone could be valued at $16 billion by 2025, based on field data.

Analysts predict that hemp could drive a $20 billion industry by 2025. Needs a caveat - "Providing that processing can be cost effective to match the extract produced with an actual downstream market."

No hemp was legally grown in the Garden State, while almost 8,000 acres were licensed in Pennsylvania in 2019 and 4,000 acres cultivated. With the USDA’s approval, the New Jersey crop will need an entirely new supply chain that will include processors, testing labs, and distributors.

GREENMARK is prepared the supply all three, plus seedlings and clones.

When Jersey catches up to do with Kentucky, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee,” their farmers will also be disappointed. On average, none of the other states had a positive cash flow from operations and 70 percent of last year's crop remains in storage. Meanwhile, Brett Goldman, a former lobbyist who serves as the Philadelphia-based "expert," said, "Now it’s time for farmers to get farming.” What planet is he from?

Under the New Jersey program, everyone’s a farmer. Anyone in the state who wants to grow hemp will be permitted to do so, said New Jersey’s Secretary of Agriculture, Douglas H. Fisher. But every aspiring grower will have to go through a formal application process and be approved by the Department of Agriculture before planting seeds. There will be no limits on the number of permits issued, Fisher said. Hemp will be treated like any other agricultural crop and may someday be eligible for promotion under the state’s Jersey Fresh program, “though we haven’t quite gotten there yet,” Fisher said. Application forms were posted next week on the Department of Agriculture website. Once the applications are submitted, the state will move quickly to grant approvals. “Some states had pilot programs, experimental programs as in Pennsylvania,” Fisher said. “We wanted to go right to letting anyone who wants to grow it do that, and they can grow it anywhere.”

New Jersey’s hemp legislation was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy in August. Growers won’t be limited in the amount they can cultivate, Fisher said, but they will have to register and know the state regulations. “The only thing they have to do is register their plots, their fields or their indoor facilities,” Fisher said. “We have to know what they are growing and where. But there’s no limit.”

Growers will be eligible to receive help from experts at Rutgers University to help growers find the right seed, maximize the yields and find new uses for their crops. Growing hemp is the easiest part of the equation. Once harvested, the crop must be processed into fiber, food or oil. And currently, there are no hemp processing facilities in New Jersey. GREENMARK CORPORATION plans to be the primary processor in New Jersey and has a clear advantage of growers ship hemp across state lines.

“We want aspiring processors to know New Jersey is open for business,” Fisher said. “We want them to locate here in the Garden State.”

Oh yes, Mr. Fisher, there is a Hemp Santa Clause. GREENMARK is auditioning for the top spot.


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