The state’s Industrial Hemp Program is currently under a 12-month extension of the 2014 Farm Bill provided for by the USDA’s Interim Final Rule.
Get Licensed to Grow Hemp in New Mexico
Under state law, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture must license all hemp cultivators. Moreover, those interested in hemp processing must obtain additional licenses from the New Mexico Environment Department.
The NMDA issues two types of licenses to hemp producers, the first of which is the Continuous Hemp Commercial Research Production License. This license allows growers to maintain viable hemp plants indoors, in a greenhouse or plant nursery. Therefore, applicants who will grow hemp indoors throughout the year must also submit the Continuous Hemp Commercial Research Production Application. Note that this license expires every January 31.
The indoor application requires the applicant’s name, contacts, and the business’s mailing and physical address. The applicant must also include the growing site details, including size, ownership, GPS coordinates, and the varieties they intend to grow.
If the applicant utilizes more than one growing area under the same license, they must attach a Continuous Additional Growing Area Form. The indoor license application fees include a $750 registration fee, a $0.75/1000 square feet fee, and a $10/variety fee.
Outdoor Hemp Grower Licensing
Secondly, growers may apply for an Annual Hemp Commercial Research Production License. This license allows holders to grow hemp outdoors as an annual crop only. Applicants must complete the annual Hemp Commercial Research Production Application. This license expires 240 days after issuance. Growers must harvest their crops within that period.
The application must include the registrant’s name, address, and contact information. Additionally, they must include the growing site’s GPS coordinates, hemp varieties, and ownership details.
The applicant must also draw a sketch or attach a map indicating the growing site perimeter and dimensions, and list which hemp varieties they will plant.
Additionally, all of those seeking hemp licensing in New Mexico must pass a background check and submit it with their form. NMDA cannot issue hemp production licenses to anyone convicted of a felony involving controlled substances within ten years.
If the applicants wish to add more growing areas, they must attach an annual Additional Growing Area Form. The application fees include a $650 registration fee, $6/acre, and $10 per variety.
New Mexico Hemp Rules
There is no acreage or square footage limit set by the Department for a single contiguous growing area under both the Continuous and Annual Hemp Licenses. However, applicants may register multiple non-contiguous growing areas under a single license. To do so, the growing areas must be within a 2.5-mile radius, and the total number of acres is less than ten acres or 435,600 square feet.
Outdoor farmers must plant their crops within three weeks.
Applicants must also comply with New Mexico’s Child Support Enforcement Act.
New Mexico Hemp Transportation Requirements
Licensees in New Mexico can only transport hemp if they possess a valid harvest certificate issued by the NMDA. The certificate must prove that the crop is compliant and indicate the quantity, composition, routing, and destination of hemp.
The applications must include the facility’s location, address, and ownership contact information. It must also include the type of products the processor will store plus the size of the facility, a site plan, and a list of equipment necessary to operate.
Applicants must pay a non-refundable fee of $1000 with each submission.
NM Hemp Reporting
Licensees in New Mexico must submit acreage reports to the USDA Farm Service Agency and the NMDA. They must also maintain the records for at least three years and send them to the Department immediately upon request.
Additionally, licensees must submit Harvest Notification Document to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture expressing intent to initiate harvest in a specific field.
This report must reach the Department at least 28 days before harvest.
New Mexico Hemp Sampling and Testing
The NMDA requires that farmers test their hemp crops to ensure THC compliance based on USDA hemp rules. It is the licensee’s responsibility to obtain samples under the oversight of NMDA staff.
The licensee must transport hemp samples to a Department-approved laboratory for testing.
If testing results indicate that the hemp tests above 0.3 percent THC, the licensee may either destroy the crop or request an alternative disposition method.
The licensee must pay all costs associated with sampling, testing, and destruction or disposition of non-compliant crop.
Buy New Mexico Feminized Hemp Seeds
New Mexico’s hemp program does not require growers to use certified hemp seeds in New Mexico. It is the licensee’s responsibility to obtain quality hemp seeds from a reputable vendor. Furthermore, those who will grow hemp for CBD must buy feminized hemp seeds to increase cannabinoid yield and market value.