New Mexico hemp legalization finally takes effect after high court’s decision

New Mexico’s long-stalled measure to legalize hemp is finally law, thanks to a decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court.

The court ruled last week that Republican Gov. Susana Martinez was wrong to veto a bill last year that authorized hemp production.

The hemp bill was among a bundle of Democratic measures vetoed by the governor last year. Democrats sued, saying Martinez made a procedural error in how she vetoed the hemp bill and other measures.

The Supreme Court decision makes New Mexico the 38th state to allow hemp production under the terms of the 2014 Farm Bill.

New Mexico agriculture authorities say they won’t have hemp rules in place in time for the 2018 growing season, telling the Santa Fe New Mexican that they won’t be ready to accept applications until this fall.

New Mexico defines hemp as cannabis with no more than 0.3% THC.

The measure allows hemp to be grown for any end use and considers “sales and marketing research” a legal reason to grow hemp, opening the door for a commercial hemp industry.

The law doesn’t limit licenses or say what the fees will be for growing or processing hemp.