Santa Fe, NM: Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has rejected legislation that sought to permit licensed farmers to grow industrial hemp in accordance with a state-sponsored research program.
Senate Bill 94 would have redefined industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity and allowed for its cultivation by licensed growers as part of a university-managed research program. The measure enjoyed significant bipartisan support among lawmakers - having been approved 54 to 12 in the House and 33 to 8 by members of the Senate.
Governor Martinez said that passage of the bill would "complicate the task of law enforcement" and contradicted federal law. However, last year members of Congress approved language in the omnibus federal Farm Bill explicitly authorizing states to sponsor hemp research absent federal reclassification of the plant. Twenty-three states have enacted legislation permitting hemp cultivation in a manner that is compliant with federal law.
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