Hemp plant

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Hemp Now Legal To Grow In NJ As Lawmakers Renew Legalization Push

August 11, 2019 - 2:43 pm

TRENTON (WCBS 880) – Hemp can now be grown legally in New Jersey under a bill signed by Gov. Phil Murphy.

The plant is genetically related to marijuana but without the latter’s psychoactive effects.

Last December, President Trump signed legislation taking hemp off the controlled substances list, where it had sat since 1970.

That opened the door to states looking to take advantage of the crop as a source for textiles, fodder for animal feed and the foundation for a popular array of wellness products.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers will try to make one more run at legalizing marijuana this year.

Murphy says he’s happy to hear that the bill will be re-introduced by state Senate President Stephen Sweeney in the lame duck session.

“Steve had come out a couple months ago, I believe with Nick Scutari, and said they wanted to go for the referendum in 2020. And I think I’ve been consistent that I have hoped we could have more shot at this,” Murphy said.

Murphy made a campaign promise to legalize marijuana and decriminalize small amounts of the drug.

It’s still a crime in New Jersey that Murphy says is hurting the state’s poorest communities.

“The status quo was completely and utterly unacceptable,” the governor said. “So getting something to happen sooner if we have a real shot at it. I’d be all in for that.”