Rep. Bealquin “Bill” Gomez Aims to Open New Mexico to the Industrial Hemp Marketplace
Santa Fe, NM – Rep. Bealquin “Bill” Gomez (D-La Mesa) wants to open up New Mexico to the industrial hemp market with the creation of the New Mexico Industrial Hemp Research and Development Fund.
“Expanding into the vast industrial hemp market is a win-win. Not only is it a sustainable crop that is good for our environment, but the economic opportunities are endless, from cultivation to product development to marketing to manufacturing. This industry is a major job-creator,” said Rep. Gomez.
Hemp is the same species as marijuana, but contains little to no THC. Often referred to as a sustainable “wonder crop,” hemp can be used for a multitude of purposes.
Recent economic estimates suggest the U.S. market for industrial hemp is at a minimum $600 million a year. Hemp requires little fertilizer and little water to grow and it thrives just about anywhere. It is a low-cost, low-effort crop.
In 2014, the federal Farm Bill allowed states to grow hemp when partnering with their Departments of Agriculture or licensed universities. Since then, at least thirty states currently have passed nlaws creating hemp pilot studies and/or hemp production.
Hemp can be used in a variety of products including cloth, paper, construction materials, carpet, foods/beverages, body care products, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and bio-fuel. Hemp can be grown in three harvestable components: fiber (stalk), grain, and floral material.
Rep. Gomez will present HB 144 to the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee on Thursday at 8:30am. (Room 315)