In 2018, the Farm Bill was signed into law and finally legalized hemp after having been lumped together with marijuana for over eight decades. This has opened the flood gates for cultivators and vendors hoping to cater to the needs and preferences of the avid hemp market.
But while hemp is legal on a federal level, some states like New Mexico have marijuana laws that slightly overlap with hemp regulation. This has lots of people asking – can you smoke hemp flower in New Mexico? Here’s what you need to know about hemp regulations and restrictions in the Land of Enchantment.
Before you can determine whether it’s safe to smoke hemp in a state, it’s important to consider their marijuana laws. The reason for this is because aside from THC content, there is no other way to differentiate marijuana from hemp.
With exactly the same appearance and odor, both herbs can’t be told apart based only on how they look and smell, which poses a problem for law enforcement officers. In New Mexico, marijuana is decriminalized and legal for medical use, but its recreational use remains widely prohibited.
That said, anyone caught with a sample of cannabis in public may have to surrender the sample for testing so law enforcement agents can determine whether its marijuana or hemp. The downside is that testing can take weeks to complete, especially because laboratories are usually backed up with testing requests.
And that’s where inconvenience might meet some hemp enthusiasts. Despite being legal on a federal level, the close resemblance between hemp and marijuana means that you still might not be able to smoke in freely within the state of New Mexico.
On the bright side, there are a range of other products to choose from if you need to use hemp on the go. Oils, tinctures, and even fast acting solutions like transdermal patches and inhalers are all available on the market and are free to use within the state.
Hemp edibles are potentially the most popular form of hemp on the market. Despite offering the lowest bioavailability due to the fact that they must first pass through the digestive system, hemp edibles remain popular because of the sheer variety that they come in.
Available as gummies, candies, power drinks, protein powders, and peanut butter just to name a few, the hemp edible market caters to buyers who want to incorporate hemp into their diet for more potent, pronounced effects and 24/7 dosing.
But for as highly accessible, affordable, and available as hemp infused food and drink might be, the FDA reminds buyers that they’re not actually legal. The reason for this is because the FDA didn’t approved hemp extract as a food additive, and therefore it can’t be incorporated into any drinks or food.
However despite being obviously illegal based on FDA regulations, it doesn’t seem like law enforcement is too interested in applying this particular stipulation. That said, buyers can still purchase and consume the product without a fuss. Hemp edibles are also allowed to pass freely across borders through delivery services, so there’s really no need to worry about penalties.
Yes, if you have a license to grow hemp. The reason why the state – much like many others – requires individuals to possess a license in order to grow hemp is because the process takes skill and knowledge. Any mistakes in the cultivation process could potentially tweak THC levels and cause the resulting harvest to exceed the legal standard for THC content in hemp.
That said, any hemp that’s grown without a license will be automatically considered marijuana. And although it has been decriminalized, there can be steep fees and penalties involved in the implementation of marijuana law.
Although hemp flower is legal across the country on a federal level, there are still a few regulations that are in place to help ensure that marijuana laws aren’t undermined in the process. In New Mexico, the biggest issue would have to be that you might not be able to smoke hemp flower in public, which is a common issue throughout the country. But allowing every other kind of hemp produce, the state does provide hemp users with quite a bit of freedom to explore their options.