New Mexico Bill On Hemp Production Passes

NEW MEXICO:  A bill to legalize marijuana previously went down in flames, but a separate measure for commercial use of hemp in New Mexico breezed through its first legislative test Tuesday.

The Senate Conservation Committee voted 9-0 to advance the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. Committee members voted to move the bill forward without recommendation because it was modified a bit just before the hearing began.

State Sen. Cisco McSorley, the sponsor, said Congress already has approved a Farm Bill that permits states to proceed with research projects on hemp. Hemp is still illegal under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act for general use, but McSorley said that is likely to change soon.

“We’re anticipating the federal government to OK production for commercial use in the next couple of months,” said McSorley, D-Albuquerque.


Hemp Measure Gets Mixed Reviews

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The recently proposed Industrial Hemp Farming Act would remove industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.

The bipartisan bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, would require the federal government to respect state laws that allow farmers to grow the crop. The United States is the only developed nation in the world that outlaws domestic hemp production.

“The federal ban on hemp has been a waste of taxpayer dollars that ignores science, suppresses innovation and subverts the will of states that have chosen to incorporate this versatile crop into their economies,” Polis, said in a statement. “I am hopeful that Congress will build on last year’s progress on hemp research and pilot programs by passing the Industrial Hemp Farming Act to allow this historical American crop to once again thrive on our farmlands.”

The Senate also has developed its own version of the bill, which is being co-sponsored by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.