The Garden State will get to start growing a new type of plant. Gov. Phil Murphy signed off on a pilot program Wednesday that gives New Jersey the green light to research and cultivate hemp crops.

Hemp plants have been used for centuries to make clothing, rope, bath products and paper -- until the federal government strictly regulated it 71 years ago, then banned it in 1970 along with its genetic relative, marijuana.

Now, the state's Department of Agriculture can promote the study and cultivation of hemp. T

he state will work alongside qualified institutions of higher education, according to the bill Murphy signed into law.

Click here to read the complete article

Matt Arco ~ NJ Advance Media for NJ.com ~