New Jersey Legalizes Hemp Farming

While many hoped New Jersey would legalize recreational marijuana after the election of Governor Phil Murphy, they can at least take solace in knowing that other illegal plants will now be allowed.

Murphy signed a new bill today that will allow the research and cultivation of hemp in New Jersey. The bill originally received nearly unanimous support in the New Jersey legislature, so it's not too surprising that Murphy signed it.

Many celebrated the bill's passage, saying the move will allow New Jersey farmers to add another profitable crop to their fields.

"This pilot program is a win for local farmers who need a diversity of opportunities to compete in the global agriculture market," said state senator Declan O'Scanlon. "Hemp is growing in value as a cash crop, and I am sure the New Jersey economy, and our farmers will benefit from this pilot program."

Hemp has been completely banned in the United States since 1970 due to its close genetics with marijuana, even though hemp doesn't cause any of the psychotropic effects of cannabis. However many states are revising their policies, realizing that hemp is a completely safe crop. 38 other states have passed some sort of law allowing hemp farming.

(h/t NJ.com)

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Lawmakers in Quebec failed to pass a bill that would have increased the minimum age for purchasing and consuming cannabis from 18 to 21 before the end of the legislative session. When the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) was elected to power in Quebec last year, they brought with them a promise to raise the legal age for buying and consuming recreational cannabis. Right now, anyone 18 or older can legally purchase cannabis in Quebec, which is tied with Alberta for having the lowest legal age for recreational cannabis.

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