Otero County, NM
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Otero County 7-11-2019 by Ord. No. 19-05. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Municipal liens — See NMSA 1978, § 3-36-1 et seq.
Counties; powers; ordinances — See NMSA 1978, § 4-37-1 et seq.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Otero County Hemp Production Ordinance."
This chapter shall apply to all individuals, businesses, agencies, institutions, or other entities engaged in the production of hemp in the unincorporated areas of Otero County.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish rules prohibiting the use of nonfeminized hemp seeds or hemp plants in Otero County to support and sustain the growth of hemp in the County as an essential agricultural product.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
A plant of the genus cannabis.
Planting of one or more hemp varieties within a contiguous or noncontiguous area.
The County of Otero.
The method approved by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture to ensure nonviability of a cannabis plant. Methods may include shredding, disking, burning, or other methods as prescribed by the Director.
The plant Cannabis sativa L. that does not produce pollen.
The plant Cannabis sativa L., and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, containing a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.
The plant Cannabis sativa L. that has both male and female sex organs and/or properties.
A document issued to an applicant by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture authorizing a licensee to produce hemp at a location.
Individuals, businesses, agencies, institutions, or other entities that possess a valid hemp production license issued by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.
One contiguous growing area of any size, or multiple noncontiguous growing areas, totaling no more than 10 acres, with a 2.5-mile radius. Noncontiguous growing areas must be owned or leased by a single licensee.
The plant Cannabis sativa L. that produces pollen.
A licensee shall:
Destroy male plants or nonfeminized seeds or plants;
Not sell, transport, process, or utilize nonfeminized seeds or plants; and
Follow all state and federal requirements relevant to hemp production.
The transfer, transportation, sale, processing, utilization, planting and/or cultivation of seeds or plants of nonfeminized hemp seed are prohibited.
Licensees are limited to planting and growing female clones or using feminized seed.
Since it is possible that one of 2,000 feminized seeds can produce a male plant, licensees are responsible for removing male plants as soon as they are identified. Male plants present pollen sacks after several weeks of growth and are tall and slender with few leaves surrounding the flowers, while female plants are short and stocky with many leaves at each terminal inflorescence.
Plants with both male and female flowers, developed through breeding and selection, are prohibited.
Regardless of their plant propagation strategy, environmental stress may result in a higher concentration of male flowers, particularly during hot/wet spells, at the commencement of flowering, and nearing harvest. Accordingly, it is the duty of licensees to monitor their crop and remove and destroy any male and/or hermaphrodite plants immediately upon detection.
Any property with more than 0.05% male-to-female plant density shall be prohibited, and all hemp plants (the crop) on that property are required to be immediately destroyed by the licensee.
As a condition of cultivating in the County of Otero, the licensee consents, agrees and understands that if he/she fails to immediately destroy the crop with more than 0.05% male-to-female plant density, the County of Otero, after providing 48 hours' notice, is authorized to enter upon the licensee's land to do so and assess the cost to the licensee.
All locations are subject to inspections by County staff or its authorized agents, without prior notification, to verify compliance with rule requirements.
Each violation of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of no more than $300 pursuant to NMSA 1978, § 4-37-3.
In the event the County of Otero is required to destroy a crop found to be in violation of this chapter, the reasonable cost destruction shall be assessed to the licensee and owner of the real property from which the crop was destroyed. The lien shall be foreclosed in the manner provided in NMSA 1978, § 3-36-1 et seq. and NMSA 1978, § 4-37-1 et seq.
If any article, section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase, provision or portion of any article, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase or provision in this chapter is, for any reason, held to be unconstitutional, invalid or void, the remaining portion shall not be affected since it is the express intention of the Otero County Board of County Commissioners to pass such article, section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase or provision and every part thereof separately and independently from every other part.