Alibi V.28 No.14 • April 4-10, 2019 

News on the Green

Plants of Enchantment

On April 1 the Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Gov. Michelle Lujan-Grisham signed House Bill 581, aka the Hemp Manufacturing Act, into law, setting in motion a regulatory groundwork for hemp production, manufacturing and research in New Mexico. Sponsored during the latest legislative session by Rep. Derrick Lente, D-Sandia Pueblo, HB 581 will provide farmers and manufacturers with guidance and a comprehensive framework for complying with state and federal law during the development of products ranging from hemp fiber and textiles to hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) and resulting compounds or supplements.

A state Supreme Court ruling that was issued last year found that Lujan-Grisham’s gubernatorial predecessor, Susana Martinez, vetoed 10 bills improperly, including one that would have licensed farmers to grow hemp here in New Mexico. The New Mexican goes on to note that HB 581’s path to becoming state law was cleared by the high court’s ruling on Martinez’ executive misconduct along with the approval of hemp farming licenses by the board of regents at New Mexico State University.

FDA Hypes CBD Outreach

On Tuesday, April 2 outgoing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb issued an updated statement on the agency’s position on CBD. Readers of Joshua Lee’s “Baked Goods” column for Weekly Alibi are already familiar with Gottlieb’s pending resignation and developments (or lack thereof) in the FDA position on CBD. In this latest statement, Gottlieb announced new steps in that process, including a public hearing slated for May 31, formation of an internal working group to explore CBD approval and regulation, publication of an updated agency FAQ page, and issuance of warning letters.

The agency sent warnings to Advanced Spine and Pain LLC (d/b/a Relievus), Nutra Pure LLC and PotNetwork Holdings Inc. for marketing CBD products to vulnerable populations using “unfounded, egregious claims about their products’ ability to limit, treat or cure cancer, neurodegenerative conditions, autoimmune diseases, opioid use disorder, and other serious diseases, without sufficient evidence and legally required FDA approval.” The FDA specifically warned these companies to cease and desist making unsubstantiated claims about more than a dozen products that span a number of websites and social media services.

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