Las Cruces, NM - The state of New Mexico recently passed a law to allow for the growing of hemp.
On Thursday, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents passed regulations for the hemp rule.
The move allows NMSU to apply for a hemp production license through the state's department of agriculture.
While hemp is similar to marijuana, the hemp that will be grown at NMSU won't have the levels of the chemical that make a person high.
Supporters say hemp is a lucrative crop for farmers.
It can be used to make clothes, food and even cosmetics.
Jeff Witte, New Mexico's Secretary of Agriculture, was on hand for NMSU's announcement.
While he says it's too early to tell what the financial benefits will be for the state, Witte says it opens the door for plenty of opportunities.
"Industry feels optimistic that this is a crop than can be a viable crop and alternative to help farmers in the state diversify their income," Witte said.
While the state will continue the work on the regulation side, NMSU's role will be on testing and assisting farmers interested in growing hemp.
"We can as a university support processing the transformation of the industrial hemp into the final products," said NMSU President John Floros.
"I think that's where a lot of additional value will come from into the state. If we manage to put all of this together in the next year or two," Floros said.
The rules and regulations for growing hemp in New Mexico haven't been finalized yet.
The final set of rules set forth by the Department of Agriculture will be established in December.
That is when farmers interested in growing hemp will be allowed to apply for licenses.