On August 9, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Assembly Bill 5322, establishing the state’s program for cultivation, handling, processing, transport, and sale of hemp.  The bill also repeals the New Jersey Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, which was passed in late 2018.  Here are some key takeaways from the new law:

  • Under the new law, titled the New Jersey Hemp Farming Act, “hemp” is defined the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.
  • Hemp and hemp-derived cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (“CBD”), are not considered controlled substances or adulterants.
  • Derivatives of hemp, including CBD, may be added to cosmetics, personal care products, and products intended for human or animal consumption to the maximum extent permitted by federal law (As we’ve written about here, it is FDA’s position that CBD-infused foods are in violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act).
  • Farmers must receive a license to cultivate, handle, or process hemp from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (“NJDA”).  However, subject to future regulations, it is lawful to sell legally-produced hemp products in New Jersey without a license.
  • Retail sales of hemp products processed outside New Jersey may be conducted in the New Jersey when the products and the hemp used in the products were processed and cultivated legally in another state or jurisdiction that has the same or substantially similar requirements for processing hemp products or cultivating hemp.

No later than 90 days after the bill was passed, NJDA must adopt interim regulations to implement the new law. The regulations will be effective immediately upon filing with the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law and will be in effect for a period not to exceed 18 months, and thereafter, be amended, adopted, or readopted by the NJDA in accordance with the provisions of the “Administrative Procedure Act.” After adoption of the regulations, NJDA will also submit the regulations for federal approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) as a state plan.  Stay tuned here for further updates.