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The New Jersey Hemp Farming Act & Requirements for Growing CBD Seed

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Everything You Need to Know About Licensing Fees for Growing CBD Seed in New Jersey

New Jersey has been one of the most progressive states in terms of hemp law reform. In 2019, approximately one year after the US Farm Bill was passed, New Jersey enacted its own hemp laws. These are referred to as the New Jersey Hemp Farming Act and allow farmers to grow CBD seed, clones, and plants within New Jersey borders.

If you wish to join the hemp revolution and became a cultivator of legal industrial cannabis in New Jersey, you will need to adhere to the requirements listed under this piece of state legislation. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most important parts of the program, which all new hemp farmers should be aware of before commencing any type of hemp farming activity.

Growing Hemp & CBD Seed in New Jersey: What You Need to Know

The New Jersey Hemp Farming Act applies to all business, individuals, and institutions who engage in the growing, processing, and/or handling of industrial hemp within New Jersey state borders. The actual legislation itself is quite extensive, and therefore should be reviewed with the assistance of a licensed legal professional. However, if you’re looking to gain a general understanding of the program, then this article may suffice.

Important Aspects of the New Jersey Hemp Farming Act

The New Jersey government recognizes that hemp has many uses. It can be grown to be processed into products such as twine, food, paper, building materials, clothing, cosmetics, and so much more. This is one of the many reasons that the government decided to enact a hemp farming program. Some important aspects and highlights of this program to be aware of include:

  • Rules for licensure: Under the New Jersey Hemp Farming Act, all growers, processors, and handlers must apply for a license once each year. Applications must pay a $50.00 application fee and a licensing fee, which varies depending on the activities being pursued. In order to be eligible, you cannot have received a felony related to a controlled substance within the last ten years.
  • Seed and plant approval: Farmers can only plant seeds, clones, and seedlings that have been approved by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. In order to be approved, documentation must be provided to the Department. A list of approved seeds can be found online.
  • Reporting: Growers must submit a pre-planting report, planting report, harvest/disposal report, and production report each year.
  • Additional requirements: Additional rules and regulations outlined by the New Jersey Hemp Farming Act include but are not limited to testing and sampling protocol, application requirements, and violations. Be sure to read the legislation thoroughly and review it on a frequent basis.

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New Jersey is now among the first three states to have its Hemp Program approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (the “USDA”). The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production nationwide by removing hemp and its derivatives, such as CBD, from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) and by providing a detailed framework for the cultivation of hemp.

Now that New Jersey’s Hemp Program is approved, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (the “NJDA”) can accept licensing applications for review and approval. Leading the way in an ever growing national hemp industry, New Jersey’s Hemp Program allows individuals and businesses to legally engage in the following activities:

Hemp Producer: any person or business entity authorized by NJDA to cultivate, process, or handle hemp in the State.

Farmers: any person who cultivates hemp.

Handlers: any person who means to possess or store a hemp plant on premises owned, operated, or controlled by a hemp producer for any period of time or in a vehicle for any period of time other than during the actual transport. Examples of “handlers” include, but are not limited to: seed cleaners, analytical labs, traders, harvesting entities, brokers and other service providers. “Handle” does not mean possession or storage of finished hemp products.

Processors: include, but are not limited to, entities acquiring raw hemp materials and processing them into products.

In order to participate in New Jersey’s Hemp Program, prospective farmers, handlers, and/or processors must submit an application to NJDA with the appropriate fees:

2020 New Jersey Hemp Program Fees

NJDA will only accept and review applications that are complete, accurate, and legible. Incomplete answers may result in the application’s removal from consideration. Please also keep in mind that all “key participants” must undergo a New Jersey State Police background check before an application can be approved.

Even though New Jersey’s Hemp Program is at the forefront of the national hemp industry, New Jersey has placed reasonable restrictions on hemp farmers, handlers, and processors, which include:

NJDA requires a site modification fee any time a growing site is altered or added to an existing license so NJDA can submit accurate records to keep the USDA apprised of the status of all hemp producers and awards of all land being used to produce hemp (N.J.A.C. 2:25-2.2);

NJDA prohibits public access to hemp, such as hemp mazes or any other recreational activity (N.J.A.C. 2:25-2.2);

NJDA may prohibit any hemp, seeds, plantlets or propagules for any reason, i.e. NJDA may ban a particular strain or source for hemp if it is unreliable with regards to THC content (N.J.A.C. 2:25-3.2).

This is an exciting time to join the growing billion dollar hemp industry. Last year alone, 500,000 acres of hemp were planted nationally. The hemp industry is full of new economic opportunities for industry participants and entrants as hemp cultivation and processing pave the way for new environmentally friendly products and markets.

To learn more about the application process or if you are interested in submitting an application to farm, handle, or process hemp in New Jersey, please contact Gene Markin, Esq. at (609) 895-7248 or [email protected]

Gene Markin is a Shareholder in Stark & Stark’s Complex Commercial, Intellectual Property, and Cannabis Litigation Groups where he concentrates his practice on complex litigation matters involving copyright protection and infringement, trademark and trade dress infringement and enforcement, trade secret litigation, false advertising…

Gene Markin is a Shareholder in Stark & Stark’s Complex Commercial, Intellectual Property, and Cannabis Litigation Groups where he concentrates his practice on complex litigation matters involving copyright protection and infringement, trademark and trade dress infringement and enforcement, trade secret litigation, false advertising, domain name disputes, unfair competition, class actions, fraud and consumer fraud, shareholder and partner disputes, breach of contract, cannabis business disputes, cannabis intellectual property matters, cannabis insurance coverage claims, cannabis regulatory compliance, RICO actions, and state licensing agency appeals .

New Jersey is now among the first three states to have its Hemp Program approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (the “USDA”). The 2018