Why NJ Should Begin Hemp Growth and Production

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It is my belief that the state of New Jersey should license and allow the cultivation of industrial hemp. Further, I believe that the state legislature should join the fight to lift the federal ban on hemp production in the United States. For the state and US economy, hemp could be a tremendously valuable cash crop, and have a very positive effect on the environment.
First and foremost, hemp production would result in instant job creation; after all, any crop must be grown, harvested, transported and processed before it even comes close to being available to the consumer. From farm to factory and everywhere in between, employment opportunities would sprout up. Several US companies currently use hemp materials in their products, however in order to be used in the US, the materials must be imported from other countries. A study by the Reason Foundation that examined the ways other countries use hemp to determine the potential usefulness found that hemp is a “cost-effective, environmentally friendly substitute for polyester, cotton, fiberglass and concrete.” A product that costs less to produce will cost less for the consumer, all while creating jobs. The financial impact that hemp growth could have on the economy could be staggering. In addition to goods manufactured using hemp materials, hemp can be used to make biofuels that could potentially ease the pain we feel at the gas pump. In the end, hemp could put more money in the pockets of average citizens, money that we would spend on other goods and services. Unfortunately, New Jersey loses farmland every day to other industries. This loss could be stopped, while boosting the state economy in the process with the growth and production of hemp. It could easily replace cotton, which requires a lot more water, pesticides, and space to grow. Hemp requires less water, less space and less energy to grow than many other crops, essentially it’s a more bang for your buck product – lots of hemp produced at a low cost equal lots of profit in the end for everyone involved along the way.
The environmental benefits of hemp growth are a blessing to anyone who fears the damage being done to our planet. It is naturally resistant to most pests, which means it requires far less pesticides than other crops. This is a fast-growing, renewable resource which can replace many non-renewable items and be used to produce over 50,000 products. Hemp products are more biodegradable than their non-hemp counterparts, and studies show that it is easier to recycle. Even processing hemp from plant to product is easier on the environment. Logan Yonavjak wrote in Forbes that “hemp can also be pulped using fewer chemicals than wood because of its low lignin content.” Fewer chemicals means a better product for the environment, less waste to pollute our rivers and lakes, or to seep into our soil and contaminate or kill our plants. You don’t have to be an environmentalist nut-job to see that any small change can...

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