New Jersey Assembly Committee Approves Industrial Hemp Legislation

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director November 25, 2013

    The New Jersey Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted 4-1 in favor of Assembly Bill 2415. This legislation would legalize the licensed cultivation of industrial hemp. Members of NORML New Jersey were present to testify in favor of this legislation.

    “We commend the Committee for taking a common sense approach to allow the growth of industrial hemp in New Jersey,” stated NORML New Jersey Executive Director Evan Nison, “Our cannabis laws are nonsensical, and few issues embody this more obviously and plainly than the prohibition of industrial hemp. We hope the absurdity of these laws will encourage members of the legislature and the public to reevaluate marijuana laws across the board.”

    “The passage of this bill will help pressure the Federal Government to allow farmers to grow industrial hemp, much like nearly all other industrialize counties do, to help our environment and provide another crop for farmers.” Nison continued, “Many members of Congress are already supportive of such reforms, and states showing an eagerness to allow this crop will encourage Congress to get it done. ”

    The United States is the only developed nation that fails to cultivate industrial hemp as an economic crop, according to a 2005 Congressional Resource Service (CRS) report. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Farmers worldwide grow hemp commercially for fiber, seed, and oil for use in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including food and clothing. Assembly Bill 2415 would allow New Jersey to authorize a licensed, statewide hemp industry. A2415 now awaits action on the floor of the New Jersey Assembly.

    For more information contact Evan Nison, Executive Director of NORML New Jersey at Evan@normlnj.org

    NJ: You can quickly and easily contact your elected officials in support of this legislation using NORML’s Take Action Center here.

    20 responses to “New Jersey Assembly Committee Approves Industrial Hemp Legislation”

    1. Ray Walker says:

      Go New Jersey Go!!!

    2. Ray says:

      No putting the genie back in the bottle on this one. Industrial hemp will save our economy and help our environment. Prohibition on corn makes more sense as corn is a product that can make moonshine (Sarcasm there, don’t stop making moonshine). Industrial hemp has so many uses it makes you wonder what the hell happened so many years ago, prohibition? Really?

    3. Julian says:

      Wow, NORML. I didn’t even get my shirt yet. Now THAT’S what I call RESULTS!
      For my pot smoking brother who smokes way more than I ever will but “doesn’t care,” about cannabis policy, this is for you.
      To my unborn grandchildren, Godwilling I am blessed to have, this is for you.
      And even to those who have exploited our Democracy, like the Koch brothers, who would refuse us renewable celullose ethanol fuel from domestic hemp cultivation, I say, in the words of Malala, you will want this for your children.
      “And from the darkeness of the sun there must be light…”

    4. Galileo Galilei says:

      I’m really glad I lived to see the beginning of the end for prohibition.

    5. Julian says:

      Now that New Jersey, Colorado, Kentucky and California are on the hemp train, we really need to get fired up with the hemp research amendment to the pending Farm Bill preparing for next year’s Congressional elections.
      NORML, what is your relationship to votehemp.com and the Hemp Industries of America?
      Let’s not make light of this; The prohibitionists of hemp are big money with deep pockets. We’re talking about food and medicine, but the major players are oil (dirty shale crude oil vs. clean renewable celullose hemp oil), building materials, petroleum products (plastics!), paper, lumber and an endless list of building materials.
      The New York Times broke the story on the Koch brothers funding the shutdown– the same day the old Farm Bill expired and left Koch Industries with even bigger crude oil subsidies. Aside from patenting a variety of petroleum products, Koch Industries supplies paper/timber products such as Brawny paper towels or pretty much anything that doesn’t want to compete with a government-patented domestic hemp market. A complete boycott list of Koch products under Investa and Georgia-Pacific can be found at this link: http://kochwatch.org/?q=node/28
      Last week the Farm Bill negotiations took a devastating turn. Democrats and Republicans, Environmentalists and oil lobbyists agreed to curb back the EPA ethanol requirements in vehicles… on ALL cellulose-producing crops. Not just moonshine-making corn; That means our government has succeeded in prohibiting American grown hemp for use of fuel before Americans can even grow it legally (at the federal level) again.
      As I’ve posted before;
      Hemp requires no pesticides, no fertilizer, uses less water than corn yet contains more celullose, can restore watersheds, trap carbon in building materials, and can create jobs without spending a dime. Americans can be conservative and self-sufficient by growing our own fuel, food, medicine and building materials.
      And the whole argument about more than %10 ethanol damaging gasoline engines? Fine. Then build engines calibrated for %100 ethanol as Henry Ford did in the first place. (hempcar.org)
      If the American Chemistry Council supports “sustainable development” then they (and their Exxon-Mobile et al supporters), by their mission statement must support sustainable products like celullose plastics made from renewable hemp, not petroleum plastics made from finite fossil fuels. The devil is in the details; susbsidies barely distinguish celullose ethanol from crude oil subsidies. Techonology is developing faster than our laws (and certainly our drag-@$$ lawmakers) can keep up.
      I have contacted the American Coalition for Ethanol to see what their stance is on industrial hemp for celullose ethanol.
      Hidden outside of the long list of prohibitionists out there, there are emerging markets and businesses that are prepared to profit from a legal hemp and cannabis industry, such as Amazon.com, Ford Motors, as well as hundreds of thousands of small farmers across the nation. If we can only convince industries to donate to NORML and votehemp.com to get the hard work done instead of waiting around in the dark to “see what happens.” We’re not trying to grow mushrooms here, we want hemp!
      Brazil has been running %90 of their vehicles of %100 cane alcohol. That’s great for a nation where sugar cane grows very well. Here in the good ol’ U.S.ofA. hemp grows very well.
      So well, that even all the DEA’s efforts to eradicate feral hemp have not succeeded entirely. And what would be the profit motivation of restricting a variety of cannabis with less than %1 THC to a marijuana black market save the fear that domestic hemp production will change American perspectives concerning marijuana legalization? That is, unless the DEA is profitting from the illegal marijuana farms and don’t want feral hemp crossbreeding into their profit… NAAWWW, TREASON! (…sarcasm…)
      The kicker is that the DEA is a facade for the international corporate lobbyist; Make no mistake, we are in the fight of our sustainable little eco-friendly lives against some very powerful corporations (Koch Ind., Exxon-Mobile)that do not see the value in a plant whose patent is owned by the government. Cannabis legalization requires that pro-public, pro-marijuana companies (like Apple, Amazon, Whole Foods, etc) hunker down and get more innovative and compete for what would be a publically owned marijuana market that is patented by the U.S. government.
      And that’s ultimately where cannabis legalization is leading us; into the creation of a Cannabis Trust; Publically owned hemp and marijuana property zones that cannot be bought or sold, only shared and maintained by the public interest and voted on for its boundries and districts, and the revenue distribution from the sale and use of its crops to private industries.
      Did NORML ever wonder what was next after legalization? In God we Trust. In Trust we Cannabis.

    6. Wow!! Another brick fell out of the wall.

    7. Did some research on Industrial Hemp. Looks like weed to me but with .03% thc. I’ve seen some pretty bad homegrown. Wasn’t nothing to get excited about but it worked.
      Once the farmers get involved, its down hill from there.

    8. Voice of the Resistance says:

      Industrial hemp would be great In Idaho. Idaho is a agricultural power house, and local farmers would benefit greatly, we could use ethanol production here also. But try to explain this to the sanctimonious ones in Boise, Butch Otter and the three stooges who are too busy counting their money, rubbing their noses on the couch, and intoning Regan Regan…. to do anything but send me another form letter.

    9. TheOracle says:

      It’s been told that New Jersey is one of the wealthiest states. With many financially savvy people there it’s not surprising they’re going for the money.

    10. Mark I says:

      Industrial hemp has brought Vietnam and China benfits from their exports to the U. S markets. Is this another stance like stem cell research we can afford to not lead the way?