New Jersey Lawmakers Push Legislation Banning Intoxicating Hemp Derivatives

New Jersey Lawmakers Push Legislation Banning Intoxicating Hemp Derivatives

The measure would also restrict the sale of non-intoxicating compounds, like CBD, to licensed cannabis retailers.

Add New Jersey to the list of states going after the sale of intoxicating hemp derivatives (IHDs). As more and more state lawmakers nationwide are targeting the mischaracterized and much-maligned hemp-based cannabinoids, political leaders in the Garden State are now also looking to ban most IHDs and limit the sale of non-intoxicating hemp compounds, like CBD, to licensed and regulated marijuana dispensaries.

 

According to numerous local and national media outlets, a proposed measure working its way through the New Jersey State Legislature would effectively obliterate the market for IHDs, most notably delta-8 THC, and require non-intoxicating hemp derivatives (CBD) to be marketed and sold through state-licensed weed dispensaries.

 

Under the highly controversial legislation, an amendment to the New Jersey Hemp Farming Act, the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which regulates all things cannabis in NJ, would be given total authority over CBD, along with all other extract products derived from hemp flowers.

 

In addition, the provision would close down all non-licensed hemp shops selling IHDs and non-intoxicating hemp compounds, which have grown massively popular throughout the state and the country since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.

 

The measure, which recently received approval by a 6–2 vote in the State Senate’s Judiciary Committee, would also:

 
  • Grant the NJ Attorney General the authority to enforce the law against selling any IHD products.

  • Continue allowing the Department of Agriculture to regulate and monitor all hemp cultivation in the state.

  • Set the maximum THC limit for all hemp-based products to a ridiculously restrictive 0.5 MG per serving.

 

This latest legislative assault on IHDs is not the first time lawmakers have attempted to dismantle the state’s young and burgeoning hemp industry. Last year, New Jersey State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R) tried to introduce a similar bill to regulate the intoxicating hemp cannabinoids, referring to them derogatorily as “the bathtub gin of the cannabis space.”

 

"There are unregulated, psychoactive hemp-derived products being sold with zero product safety or marketing standards in our communities. This legislation would set standards and empower them to create a framework for any mind-altering hemp-derived product, give the state some enforcement power, and let us go after the bad actors," O’Scanlon told SenateNJ then. 

 
"There are unregulated, psychoactive hemp-derived products being sold with zero product safety or marketing standards in our communities. This legislation would set standards and empower them to create a framework for any mind-altering hemp-derived product, give the state some enforcement power, and let us go after the bad actors."

- New Jersey State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R)

 

Sens. M. Teresa Ruiz and Paul D. Moriarty, both Democrats, initiated this most recent attack on IHDs. However, their reasoning for introducing the new bill is shockingly transparent. As with most legislation targeting IHDs and the hemp market overall, the latest amendment is being strongly supported (and most likely funded) by the Big Cannabis interests in New Jersey.

 

Blaming the subpar performance of the state’s mismanaged young adult-use cannabis industry on the wide availability of items containing IHDs, last year, the state’s Cannabis Trade Association said the recreational marijuana market is in a “doom loop” due to the massive proliferation of unregulated hemp-derived products in convenience stores, hemp shops, and other typical retail business.

 

However, despite that doomsday assertion, New Jersey recently licensed its 100th retail cannabis dispensary. Likewise, state cannabis officials stated earlier this year that legal adult-use cannabis sales should top $1 billion in 2024, one of the strongest showings nationwide. 

 

As the horrendously destructive and completely unnecessary civil war between hemp and cannabis continues to rage, there are sure to be more legislative and legal attacks on the nation’s resilient and ever-popular hemp-derived product industry. And with the deep-pocketed Big Cannabis interests funding these dubious bans, it is becoming more and more apparent that greed, not concern for public safety, is the real reason behind these industry-killing laws.