On Thursday, Feb. 1, the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee approved the bill.
Hemp is a non-psychoactive substance with a THC concentration of 0.3% or less. It is unable to make a user feel ‘high’. Many medical cannabis strains are often well over 20% THC and concentrate could be well over 60% and as high as 99.99%.
This bill establishes an industrial hemp license for planting, growing, harvesting, possessing, processing, distributing, buying, or selling New Jersey industrial hemp. Farmers would be able to branch out into a new industry. It has a great demand right now around the country.
The bill also establishes procedures and requirements for persons applying to the Secretary of Agriculture for a license. Accordingly, procedures and requirements for fingerprinting and criminal background checks for license applicants would be created.
Industrial Hemp Bill Details
Reed acknowledged the hemp bill would allow farmers to grow industrial hemp. Interestingly it’s using the growing momentum around legalization that is gaining steam in New Jersey.
According to Gusciora, in NJ.com, “Giving New Jersey farmers the right to compete in this industry … starts with this common-sense legislation. New Jersey has lagged behind on providing economic opportunity to our robust farming industry.”
He added the industry is worth about half a billion dollars in the United States.
According to the bill, the production of industrial hemp would be subject to the “Right to Farm Act.”
“The growth of hemp will ignite manufacturing opportunity of numerous products within our state. Providing well-paying jobs and new opportunities for businesses to expand and develop.”
Hemp also could provide a “parallel” opportunity for farmers should the state legalize marijuana, Gusciora said. Agricultural schools, such as Rutgers University’s Cook College, could also capitalize on research opportunities.