Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill that would regulate the production, testing, research, manufacturing and transportation of hemp and similar products in New Mexico.

House Bill 581, known as the Hemp Manufacturing Act, was sponsored by Rep. Derrick Lente, D-Sandia Pueblo, during this year’s 60-day legislative session. In a statement, Lente said the legislation “will help farmers and manufacturers access this lucrative industry while maintaining compliance with federal and state laws.” Among other measures, Lente said the bill will help with the development of new hemp products such as clothing and textiles.

Last year, the state Supreme Court ruled former Gov. Susana Martinez improperly vetoed 10 bills, including one that would allow farmers to get state licenses to grow hemp, which is used to make clothes, carpets and other products. That court ruling, coupled with the board of regents at New Mexico State University approving rules for applying for hemp-growing licenses, cleared the way for Lente’s bill this year.

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