In 2007, a memorial (HR49) has passed the New Mexico House of Representatives requesting and urging the New Mexico State Board of Regents to undertake a study on the viability of a legal industrial hemp industry in New Mexico. Industrial hemp has less than three-tenths of one percent THC, not to be confused with marijuana.
Lawmakers urged that an “in-depth economic analysis address the benefits of a legal hemp industry in New Mexico and the long-term impacts of establishing proper permitting and licensing procedures. The economic analysis shall attempt to determine the costs and benefits associated with encouraging economic development in various areas, including textiles, pulping products for paper, biocomposites and building materials, animal bedding, nutritional products for livestock, industries related to seed extraction and resins for potential biofuels, lubricants, paints and inks, cosmetics, body care products and nutritional supplements.”
Industrial hemp is currently produced in more than thirty nations, including Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Romania, Australia and China. The United States is, by far, the largest consumer of industrial hemp products. Our manufacturers import millions of dollars worth of hemp seed and fiber every year and annual sales of hemp foods in the United States is growing rapidly.
The New Mexico legislature has recognized that industrial hemp is a high-value, low-input crop that is not genetically modified, requires no pesticides, can be dryland farmed and uses less fertilizer than wheat or corn – both of which are grown here.