New Jersey expands hemp production and CBD use; future for processing uncertain

New Jersey has expanded its hemp law to allow more cultivation and derivatives such as CBD to go in foods and cosmetics.

However, state analysts say it’s unclear how big of a player New Jersey will be in the national hemp market.

Signed into law Friday by Gov. Phil Murphy, the new measure replaces a 2018 law that allowed commercial hemp production as a pilot program. Highlights of the hemp update include:

  • A new provision making clear that “hemp-derived cannabidiol may be added as an ingredient to cosmetics, personal care products, or products intended for human or animal consumption.”
  • Hemp producers will have a 30-day window between THC testing and harvest.
  • The state Department of Agriculture will come up with a “proof of authorization” for trucking companies and others to transport hemp across state lines.

New Jersey fiscal analysts projected the state could see about 2,447 outdoor acres in hemp by next year. They didn’t estimate the amount of indoor or greenhouse production.

Analysts were even less certain about New Jersey’s potential as a processing hub.

“New Jersey’s location, seaports and airports, access to international markets, and well-educated labor force make the state a potentially attractive location” for hemp processing, they wrote.

“However, the relative cost of land in the state, the cost of living and wages, and distance from larger agricultural production areas in other states might also decrease the number of applicants to engage in the processing of hemp.”

The law takes effect immediately.