Oroho hemp bill signed into law

BUSINESS. Crops can now include hemp in New Jersey.

Aug 10 2019 | 06:26 PM

Sen. Steven Oroho’s legislation that permanently enacts a State program to permit hemp growth for industrial use has been signed into law. (SenateNJ.com).

“Garden State farmers are now able to increase and diversify their crop yield through cultivating industrial hemp,” said Oroho (R- Sussex, Warren, Morris). “Found in more than 25,000 products, the versatile and profitable hemp plant will encourage new business growth and boost the state’s agricultural economy. With burdensome federal and state regulations removed, New Jersey farmers can greatly benefit from this potential billion dollar industry.”

Senator Oroho’s bipartisan law, S-3686/A-5322, repeals the New Jersey Industrial Hemp Pilot Program – the pilot program established earlier this session – and replaces it with a permanent program to establish guidelines for the growing of hemp for industrial use.In the Assembly, the bill was co-sponsored by Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths (R- Sussex, Warren, Morris).Industrial hemp is a strain of the cannabis sativa plant that is grown specifically for industrial uses. Among these uses are fiber, building materials, plastic and composite materials, paper, animal bedding, water and soil purification, weed control, cosmetics, automotive parts, furniture, agricultural applications, and biofuels. Hemp is considered a super food, that is thought to improve heart health and reduce cholesterol levels.

The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that the plant may be used in more than 25,000 products.Hemp was removed from the controlled substance list in the 2018 federal “Farm Bill.”A number of state legislatures have taken action to promote industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity. At least forty-one states have passed legislation related to industrial hemp and at least thirty-nine states have considered legislation that allowed for hemp cultivation and production programs.The hemp that would be permitted to be grown in New Jersey does not contain the substances that are used in marijuana either for medicinal or recreational use.

“I am proud that the Garden State is taking this step to grow and cultivate the hemp industry,” added Oroho. “The benefits to both family farmers and consumers are limitless. New Jersey is now the new frontier for hemp.”