FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Public Affairs Director
New Mexico Department of Agriculture
Deputy Director of Communications and Media Strategy
Office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
Oct. 23, 2020
USDA approves New Mexico hemp production regulatory plan
NMDA aims to implement new plan for growers licensed after Oct. 31, 2020
LAS CRUCES – The United States Department of Agriculture approved the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s state hemp production regulatory plan last week.
States that seek to have primary authority over the regulation and production of hemp in their home jurisdiction were required by the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill to complete a state plan for review and approval by the USDA.
The hemp industry has potential for more job opportunities in the future, whether it’s field production or greenhouse production, or value-added products from extractors, manufacturers, specialty stores and hemp breeding operations. The New Mexico Economic Development Department expects to generate some 400 jobs from hemp-related businesses throughout New Mexico from its Local Economic Development Act funding.
“I have prioritized hemp production since day one,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “It can be an economic game-changer for our agricultural communities, creating jobs and building opportunity. I’m grateful for this next step and I look forward to more.”
“New Mexico joins 27 other states who have had their plan approved by USDA,” said New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte. “Allowing the state to continue regulatory oversight is ideal for producers and others involved in the New Mexico hemp industry. USDA-approved plans provide uniformity among states, as everyone is held to the same standards.”
Although New Mexico’s hemp statutes, rules and policies implemented for the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons already closely aligned with the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, the newly-approved state plan provides more clarity.
The approval of the state plan is encouraging for banks, as they work with the emerging hemp industry, according to Jerry Walker, Independent Community Bankers Association of New Mexico President and Chief Executive Officer.
“The USDA’s approval of New Mexico’s hemp plan is good news for growers and producers of hemp in our state and for our community banks who provide loans and other banking services to this burgeoning industry,” said Walker. “The diligent efforts of the NMDA will pay dividends for years to come as the industry grows and matures. New Mexico’s community banks have been pleased to support this effort and the economic development that will benefit many areas of the state. ”
New Mexico’s Hemp Manufacturing Act and Hemp Cultivation Rule legalizing and regulating hemp were initially promulgated in 2018. The first production licenses in New Mexico were issued in January 2019.
New Mexico’s plan may be viewed in its entirety at https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/NewMexicoHempPlan.pdf.
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