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Maddy Baker

New Mexico Hemp Company Nets State Job Training Grant

New Mexico Hemp Services has secured a $250,000 state grant to provide job training for hemp industry workers in the state.

Full story after the jump.

Santa Rosa, New Mexico-based New Mexico Hemp Services will receive $250,000 from the state Economic Development Department for job training, the Associated Press reports. The funds come from a $2 million state Job Training Incentive Program.

New Mexico Hemp Services will use the funds to train 17 employees at an average wage of $19.42 per hour. The JTIP reimburses 50 percent to 75 percent of employee wages for classroom and on-the-job training. New Mexico Hemp Services plans to have its operations up and running by the end of the year, with plans to hire lab technicians, extraction chemists, storage clerks, and an electrician.

In 2018, the state finalized rules allowing hemp to be cultivated in the state so long as farmers work with New Mexico State University.

Brad Lewis, Department of Agriculture division director who manages the state’s hemp program, told New Mexico Political Report that the agency is working “in pretty close cooperation” with the state’s hemp industry and was “cautiously optimistic” that growers would be able to make money off of their crops next year.

Consultant MJ Balizan said the industry was taking small steps this year towards bigger cultivation opportunities for next year.

“This is a learning year. It’s a year for farmers, if they’re interested in this market, to start small.” — Balizan, via New Mexico Political Report

New Mexico Hemp Services is one of 10 businesses to receive a JTIP grant during the round. The economic development agency has $10 million in JTIP funds to award in the fiscal year 2020.

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