In August, even as attempts to legalize marijuana in New Jersey were sidelined, Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation allowing the cultivation, processing and distribution of hemp in the state.
Officials say interest among growers has been high in the state. Fisher said applications for licenses to grow and process hemp will be available online, adding that there’s no preset limit to how many will be handed out.
“So far, there’s at least over 300 very interested people who want to get involved in growing hemp at the current time,” said Joe Zoltowski, plant industry division director for the state Agriculture Department.
Among the farmers who are interested is Ken Vande Vrede, who already has a line of hemp products that contain CBD, a compound that is found in both marijuana and hemp. Vande Vrede cultivates his crop and processes it into things like gummies, oils and creams that people use for relaxation and soothing, in other parts of the country.