By Anthony Martinelli

New Jersey legislation to create a hemp pilot program has been signed into law by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

Assembly Bill 1330, signed into law today by Governor Murphy, “directs the Department of Agriculture to create an industrial hemp agricultural pilot program that promotes the study and cultivation of hemp to the maximum extent permitted by federal law.” The measure was passed by the Assembly in June, unanimously (67 to 0), and was passed by the Senate in September, 33 to 2.

The law states that “The department may partner with any qualified institution of higher education to administer the program; however, any person participating in the program must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Agriculture that the person has complied with all federal requirements related to the cultivation of industrial hemp.”

The department is also required “to adopt rules and regulations to administer the program. These include creating requirements for the licensing or contracting of growers participating in the program, prescribing hemp testing procedures to ensure compliance with federal law, creating a fee structure for administration of the program, and certifying germinating seeds and hemp cultivars if necessary. Any rule or regulation adopted by the department must comply with federal law.”

Assembly Bill 1330 notes that “Industrial hemp is used in a wide variety of products including textiles, construction materials, and foodstuffs. The demand for these goods is growing at the State and national level and hemp can be a viable agricultural crop in the State. The ability to grow hemp on an industrial scale would allow farmers to diversify their products by adding a lucrative cash crop and researching cultivation methods of industrial hemp would greatly aid farmers seeking to grow hemp for the first time.”

For more information on Assembly Bill 1330, including its full text, click here.

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