New Jersey Assembly Committee Approves Industrial Hemp Legislation

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

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

20 thoughts

  1. 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?

  2. 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…”

  3. 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 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:
    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. (
    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, 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 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. @Jimmy Potseed,
    The farmers have been involved, Jimmy, walking up this 75-year-old hill ever since. The National Farmers Union is watching the hemp research amendment to the pending Farm Bill VERY closely, posting every development on their web page. I just wrote them a letter to join the hemp train and support the end of prohibition to “drive up memberships.” We’ll see what they say in response to me if they are so bold and I’ll post it here.

  9. Well, the only thing ALEC wants us to do is suck at everything we used to be good at while becoming New China.

    This political group claims non-partisanship, but has a special program for brainwashing Republicans and turning them into Rebublicans. These folks believe anything good for corporations is good for the USA; even if it means destroying our democracy and selling off all the government land to private investors. They don’t want people to vote, they do love the Drug War, they hate regulations but babble about “personal responsibility”. They want illegal guns on our streets.

    They candy coat turds and get them passed as laws. A.L.E.C. stands for American Legislative Exchange Council. Their slogan is ‘We exchange good laws for turds.

  10. I’ve been buying hemp products from other countries for years; in particular Hemp Milk.

    As we all know, the cannabis laws in here in America are incredibly stupid. Even stupider is to prohibit hemp! I have found that help milk is vastly superior to cow’s milk or any other kind of milk I’ve tried. The fabric that can be made from hemp is superior to most other kinds of fabrics we use.

    I’m glad that at least some portions of our Govt. are starting to realize the error of their ways! Some people have said that our Govt is about 20 years behind the general population when it comes to issues of this nature. I guess that I’m about 20 years ahead of the general population since I’ve been pro-cannabis for about 40 years!

  11. The “Prohibition” of hemp started with William Randolph Hurst, he owned newspapers and bought papermills to produce the paper. When hemp products were introduced as a superior and less expensive paper, Mr. Hurst ran a propaganda campaign with movies like “Refer Madness” to scare the general public and politicians into prohibiting the growth of hemp/marijuana.

  12. @Dave, check out my link on NORML’S AmazonSmile blog spot. The Guardian newspaper just put a spotlight on ALEC. Amazon, walmart and mcdonalds just pulled funding on ALEC for their involvement in the Trayvon Martin- Zimmerman case. How fitting since after the verdict was the turning point in U.S. History when Obama became the first acting president who openly condemned the drug wars in his response.(to be fair, Jimmy Carter spoke about prioritizing treatment over drug enforcement; the Guardian just broke the story that the U.N. Plans to announce this policy shift in the spring).
    On a follow up, I received a long and heartfelt letter from the National Farmers Union explaining how they’ve been deeply involved in hemp legislation, votehemp and support the hemp research amendment to the pending Farm Bill.
    And the Koch brothers still support ALEC! Its gearing up to be a VERY Interesting election year for cannabis policy. God bless America. And God bless NORML.

  13. Maybe there is light on the horizon, I have not had a raise on my job in 18yrs. Would like to be back on the farm from when I was a young lad. What would be the prospects. Are they positive. I will need some direction. Of course I am new to NORML, I do think now is the time to take the opportunity. Then next generation youth has no idea how long this fight has been, and regulations have killed creativity and growth.

  14. I don’t see NJ farmers going along with this bill . What farmer would want to pay for a license and have his finger prints and also pay for a criminal background check ? Whats next a license to grow corn ? its just ridiculous .

  15. Ray says:
    November 25, 2013 at 11:00 pm
    “Industrial hemp has so many uses it makes you wonder what the hell happened so many years ago, prohibition? Really?”

    Reefer Madness…A racially driven yellow journalism campaign to make white society fear blacks(Jamaican, African, Haitian etc..), Mexicans and Arabs stealing/killing their kids, making them pregnant and joining gangs…other than that the whole “documentary” was orchestrated by Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Agro and Big Hygiene while being presented by the president Roosevelt and H.J. Anslinger…I always thought it was Nixon though.

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