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NJ Department of Agriculture announces 2021 hemp applications are now available

NEW JERSEY – New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher announced Wednesday that applications for potential growers and processors of hemp for the 2021 season are now available on the department’s website.

“Working together with our farmers, university partners, and other organizations, we are encouraged by the interest that is being shown and expect continued growth of hemp in New Jersey,” Secretary Fisher said.

Hemp applications, rules, and regulations can be found here and there is no deadline to apply as applications are accepted throughout the year. There is no limit to the number hemp growers or processors for New Jersey.

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. The growing time for hemp can range from 45-120 days based on the variety and intended use of the crop.

Industrial hemp (cannabis sativa) was a major crop grown in America starting in the Colonial period, and is 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.

New Jersey hemp legislation at the state-level was signed into law by Governor Philip Murphy on August 9, 2019, after which followed the process of New Jersey filing for USDA approval. New Jersey will be entering its second year of growing hemp after being one of the first three states to have its hemp plan approved by the USDA.

New Jersey had 59 licensed growers, 13 processors and 6 handlers and grew 89 varieties of hemp in 2020.

The NJDA’s Division of Plant Industry is responsible for inspecting hemp growing facilities and testing hemp varieties to ensure that the THC content is within the 0.3 percent limit 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.

For further information about the New Jersey Hemp Program, email NJHemp@ag.nj.gov or call 609-406-6941.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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