New Mexico is on the verge of allowing industrial hemp production after the New Mexico State University (NMSU) Board of Regents voted in favor of a proposal crafted by state agriculture officials, according to an NMSU press release.
Interested parties can apply for a license from New Mexico’s Department of Agriculture, which will regulate the program.
“In terms of economic development, it is highly desirable for our state and New Mexico State University to explore opportunities to diversify our economy. It’s another tool that allows New Mexico farmers to diversify their crop base and seek new market opportunities. I appreciate NMDA for working closely with stakeholders to develop the regulations to guide this emerging industry.” — New Mexico State Sen. Mary Kay Papen, in a statement
NMSU staff said the university is now collecting resources and information to help the state’s prospective hemp farmers and processors.
New Mexico’s industrial hemp ambitions were stymied when Gov. Susanna Martinez (R) vetoed a state hemp legalization bill in March 2017. The veto was contested as lawmakers, farmers, and advocates continued to push the agricultural and economic benefits of hemp.
Meanwhile, the 2018 Farm Bill is expected to end the federal ban on industrial hemp.