Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

March 27, 2019

Senator Anwar Tours J.E. Shepard Companies, Discusses Hemp Legalization With Leaders

SDO photo

J.E. Shepard Companies president Tim Shepard, left, talks to South Windsor Mayor Andrew Paterna, State Senator Saud Anwar and NuWay Tobacco Company President Raymond A. Voorhies Tuesday at J.E. Shepard Co. headquarters.

SOUTH WINDSOR, CT – This week, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) joined the leaders of the J.E. Shepard Companies to tour their facilities, afterward discussing the positive impacts that hemp legalization could potentially have not just for farmers, but for Connecticut manufacturers and businesses as a whole.

After taking a tour of J.E. Shepard’s Sullivan Avenue facilities Tuesday, viewing the creation of wrappers and binders for machine-made cigars and edible gold glitter among many other products, Sen. Anwar joined J.E. Shepard President Tim Shepard and South Windsor Mayor Andrew Paterna, as well Nuway Tobacco Company President Raymond A. Voorhies and J.E. Shepard Chief Financial Officer Tom Kirby, for an extended discussion on the potential benefits of hemp legalization.

Several current bills are in discussion in the state legislature concerning the possible legalization of industrial hemp and production of hemp in Connecticut, and hemp legalization is a priority for Senate Democrats this legislative session. Hemp, which contains less than 0.3 percent THC content and was removed from the Controlled Substances Act last year, has more than 25,000 possible uses in various industries, including fibers, textiles, paper, construction and cosmetic products. If made legal, it could provide immediate benefits to a variety of Connecticut businesses, in addition to the more than 100 farmers across the state currently interested in growing the plant.

As J.E. Shepard Companies produce a wide variety of products in the manufacturing and environmental centers, it could benefit from this legislation, Shepard said. Additional opportunities connected to legalization, such as the hemp byproduct CBD commonly used in the medical field to alleviate some ailments, provide further opportunities for business growth, for instance as an ingredient in some of the company’s edible products.

“We are not only speaking to farmers about this issue, but manufacturers who are excited about the opportunity for Connecticut to allow industrial hemp growth and manufacturing,” said Sen. Anwar. “This will lead to new opportunities for farmers and manufacturers alike, leading to economic growth and chances to increase employment, and it will expand access to new and better products for consumers, for instance when manufacturers can begin creating new, edible products infused with CBD for pain relief.”

“We’re hoping, with these conversations, that we can put together a package so all of this can happen in South Windsor,” said Mayor Paterna. “Bringing new jobs to our town and increasing our manufacturing base is our goal.”

“I’m excited about the opportunities hemp holds for growth of existing industries,” said Shepard. “The manufacturing industry is ready to move on industrial hemp as soon as it’s authorized by the state of Connecticut.”