The Changing Hemp Laws in New Mexico

new mexico hemp cultivation
The Changing Hemp Laws in New Mexico
By: 710 Editior
new mexico hemp cultivation
Rules to allow the growing of hemp in New Mexico is being proposed by the state Department of Agriculture. This is a crucial step to carry out a 2017 law that Governor Susana Martinez opposed. Certain licensing and testing requirements are listed in the rules to make sure that hemp, a relative of marijuana, does not contain high levels of chemical that will get people high.
Hemp is a type of cannabis that is grown for industrial purposes, not to cause intoxication. Until the new rules take place, it is currently illegal to
grow in New Mexico. Supporters does say hemp could be a money making crop for New Mexico farmers and assist in the states economy. It can also be used to make clothes and other products.
“We have a huge opportunity,” Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, said in an interview. “The production of hemp has the potential to create farming and manufacturing jobs, especially in rural areas. It’s used in many kinds of products” McSorley said.
Governor Martinez, a Republican, opposed the legislation permitting hemp. She also argues that law enforcement efforts will become more complicated if it is legal.
In 2017, she tried to veto the bill but the state Supreme Court later ruled that she did not follow the correct procedures to reject the legislation. Senate Bill 6, which was sponsored by McSorley, was one of the items of legislation that became law after her vetoes were nullified.
Five meetings are scheduled for mid-October to put the hemp law into effect. The state is now seeking comments from the public.
To grow hemp under the proposed rules, people would have to apply for the license five weeks in advance. In some cases, licensing fees are approximately $900 per location. There are testing and inspection requirements as well as procedures for destroying plants with an excessive amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that causes intoxication.
Kristie Garcia, a spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture, stressed that the rules and foundations are only being proposed at this point and the state is allowing the public to give their opinions. A hearing officer will then make a recommendation.
“The department has authority over the growing of hemp, not what producers do with the plant afterward.” Garcia said.
Many other states already allow the cultivation of hemp in restricted circumstances. Currently the state allows the use of cannabis for some medical conditions. However, proposals to legalize marijuana for recreational use have failed many times in the past.
The rules are available at the Department of Agriculture website, www.nmda.nmsu.edu.
The Changing Hemp Laws in New Mexico

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