The state Department of Agriculture is proposing rules that would allow the growing of hemp in New Mexico – a key step in carrying out a 2017 law that Gov. Susana Martinez opposed.
The rules outline licensing and testing requirements to ensure that hemp – a relative of marijuana – doesn’t have high levels of the chemical that makes people high.
Hemp is a kind of cannabis, grown for industrial purposes, not to cause intoxication. It’s illegal to grow in New Mexico, at least until new rules are adopted.
Supporters say hemp could be a lucrative crop for New Mexico farmers and help the state’s economy. It can 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, he said, has the potential to create farming and manufacturing jobs, especially in rural areas. It’s used in many kinds of products, McSorley said.
Gov. Martinez, a Republican, opposed the legislation allowing hemp, arguing that it would complicate law enforcement efforts. [Read more at Albuquerque Journal]