A federal agency has approved New Jersey’s plan for the production and testing of hemp and its products. (Photo: Provided)
TRENTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved New Jersey’s plan for the production and testing of hemp and hemp products, Douglas H. Fisher, the state’s agriculture secretary announced Tuesday. New Jersey adopted legislation this summer to allow hemp production.
The approval means New Jersey will be responsible for regulating hemp production within the state. Its Division of Plant Industry will be responsible for inspecting hemp operations, and will be tasked with testing hemp varieties to ensure THC levels are below federal limits.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive component in marijuana. Both plants are strains of cannabis. According to the Hemp Industries Association, the plants are indistinguishable from one another without testing for THC levels.
According to the state Department of Agriculture, industrial hemp (or cannabis sativa) was a major crop in colonial America and used to make textiles, paper and rope. Today, the plant is used in fiberboard, construction materials, protein for humans and animals, lubricating oils and energy production.
Hemp production was banned in the 1970s, after it was classified as an illicit drug. In 2018, the federal government reclassified hemp as an agricultural crop.
Applications to grow hemp are expected to be available on the state’s website next week.
Kim Mulford is a senior reporter for the Courier Post and The Daily Journal, with an interest in health and human services. She is a South Jersey native. If you have a news tip or story we should tell, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (856) 486-2448.
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