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Flags flying on top of an adobe-style building in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Doug Kerr

A bill that would remove hemp from New Mexico’s controlled substance list has passed through the state’s House Labor and Economic Development Committee, moving it to the House for a full vote, according to a report from the Tenth Amendment Center. If approved, the measure, HB.166 sponsored by Republican Rep. Ricky Little, would allow full-scale commercial hemp farming.

Under than plan, hemp cultivation would not require any special license, treating the crop like any other agricultural product so long as it’s THC content is not more than .3 percent, as defined under the 2014 federal Farm Bill. The bill passed the committee 10 to 1 after passing through the Agriculture and Water Resources Committee 7 to 1 last month.

According to the fiscal impact report accompanying the bill, no government agency reported a positive or negative financial impact in the state, although Little wrote that “there could be some reduction in prosecutions for cultivation, possession or trafficking in this substance.”

If the measure is approved, New Mexico would join California, Massachusetts, Maine, Oregon, Colorado, and Vermont in allowing industrial hemp production within the state.

Little has also introduced HB.154 this session, which would establish an industrial hemp research and development program in the state, which would require licensing. That bill unanimously passed the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee on Jan. 31.

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