Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation into law permitting the state to establish a pilot program to assess and promote the cultivation of industrial hemp.
Assembly Bill 1330/Senate Bill 3145 authorizes the Department of Agriculture to partner with Rutgers University “to study and promote the cultivation of industrial hemp to the maximum extent permitted by federal law.” Over 40 states have adopted similar legislation.
Federal law permits states to engage in limited hemp production. Pending federal provisions in the Senate-version of H.R. 2: The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka the 2018 Farm Bill) for the first time amends the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 so that industrial hemp plants containing no more than 0.3 percent THC are no longer classified as a schedule I controlled substance. (See page 1182, Section 12608: ‘Conforming changes to controlled substances act.’).
Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “guaranteed” that the hemp-related provisions would remain in the bill following the reconciliation process.