Vande Vrede
General Business

NJ Farm Looks to Transition to Hemp, Medical Cannabis

Pequannock, NJ-based Company Accelerates Development Ahead of New State Laws and Program Expansion

A decades-old, New Jersey-rooted family farm business is expanding from flowers, herbs, and leafy greens to hemp and cannabis, with the expansion of Pequannock-based Hillview. The company’s entrance into this growing industry dramatically personifies the inevitable legalization of both, and a hope of higher profits along with a renewed commitment to the Garden State.

“Our family has continued to add crops to our expansive agriculture portfolio, with hemp and cannabis being two additional plants that we can expertly and sustainably bring to market” said Ken Vande Vrede, founder and CEO of Hillview, whose family farming operation has been rooted in New Jersey since 1973. “The expansion of the state’s medical cannabis program, and state regulation on commercial hemp, should go a long way toward reinforcing New Jersey’s reputation as the Garden State. We are a New Jersey business, backed by a high level of expertise in this burgeoning industry, and are committed to building our business and making a deeper contribution to the economy of the state.”

Vande Vrede’s family farm is already in related parts of the business that will help position Hillview to quickly begin growing commercial hemp, and eventually cannabis, when it receives appropriate state licensing and permits. In the meantime, Hillview plans to process hemp at its new facility in Pennsylvania, and both hemp and cannabis in its Nevada-based operations. Hillview is actively tracking New Jersey hemp regulations as they evolve, and are in motion to have operations up and running quickly, with a turnkey, efficient solution, when the final bill is signed into law.

In a rapidly expanding industry, Hillview has accelerated its venture over the past six to 12 months to include an intensive focus on agriculture, science and wellness. Backed by his family’s history of agricultural success, Vande Vrede is refocusing Hillview’s operations on three core pillars:

  • Rooted in Agriculture – Vande Vrede combines his family experience with seed-to-sale operations, and nearly a decade of cannabis and hemp experience, in leading Hillview. The company’s hemp and cannabis cultivation will use many of the same growing processes used in the family’s traditional farming business. Facilities in Pennsylvania and Nevada provide a firm foundation for the establishment of cultivation, processing and manufacturing here in New Jersey.
  • Innovators in Science – With increasing consumer attention on the health and wellness benefits of cannabinoids – the beneficial components of both cannabis and hemp – Hillview has aligned itself with market leaders in plant processing and technology to deliver safe, natural, and compliant products to market. The first of these relationships, expected to be announced soon, will revolutionize the industry’s approach to delivering these benefits to consumers.
  • Commitment to Wellness – Hillview and its industry partners are committed to bringing quality, all-natural products that provide support to those seeking an enhanced level of health and wellness. As New Jersey and other states enact legislation that regulates hemp cultivation and further defines the legal status of both recreational and medical cannabis, Hillview is in active development of products and consumer education that supports the public’s desire for an improved level of health, wellness and safety.

Hillview’s multiple growing and manufacturing locations are compliant with the highest industry certifications, including GMP-Compliant, GFSI Certified, and USDA Certified Organic. With the recent expansion of New Jersey’s medical cannabis program, Hillview intends to submit its application for licensure as a true New Jersey-based operation, with active business in the state that can immediately add the cultivation of medical cannabis to its operations. The company is poised to quickly make a direct contribution to the industry and a positive impact on New Jersey patients.

In the hemp space, the company recently launched HillviewCBD, a wholly owned subsidiary that manufactures and sells quality CBD products, containing cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive component of hemp that promotes health and wellness.  While currently sourcing its hemp from out of state, the company hopes to begin growing commercial hemp in New Jersey once regulations are approved and growing licenses are issued.

“The state of New Jersey is at a pivotal juncture in its medical cannabis and hemp programs. As a New Jersey company, Hillview is anxious to be a part of the success of both programs and hopes that the state continues to advance legislation and regulation that will allow us to get to work in earnest,” said Vande Vrede. “For hemp, significant additional delay in approval of the program, in particular, means that New Jersey will likely not see any tax revenue from hemp in the 2019 calendar year. We are ready to embrace this next chapter in New Jersey agriculture as soon as we get the green light.”

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