Raúl Torrez | Attorney General

AG Balderas Urges FDA to Partner with States to Protect New Mexican Consumers of Cannabis-Derived Products

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 17, 2019

Contact: Matt Baca (505) 270-7148

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Attorney General Hector Balderas today joined a coalition of 37
bipartisan State Attorneys General urging federal cooperation with the states to protect consumers
from false advertising and harms to their health from products containing cannabis or cannabisderived compounds, including cannabidiol (CBD). In a public comment filed with the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA), the AGs highlight the need for research into the risks and potential
benefits of cannabinoid products to inform consumers and assist in state-level regulation. They
also encourage the FDA to continue partnering with state consumer protection authorities as it
considers guidelines for this emerging market.
“Any product that impacts the health of New Mexican families and consumers must be safe, plain
and simple,” said Attorney General Balderas. “Federal and State authorities must work together to
ensure fairness in the marketplace and consumer safety for all products sold within our State.”
The Farm Bill, passed in December 2018, removed cannabis products containing less than .3% of
THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, from the Schedule I list of drugs prohibited
under the Controlled Substances Act. As a result, companies across the country have started to
manufacture and sell varieties of cannabis commonly classified as “hemp.” Hemp contains little
THC but large amounts of CBD, a compound that has been touted by some to treat a wide variety
of health concerns.
The Farm Bill permits states to come up with their own “Comprehensive Regulatory Plan” to
regulate the CBD industry within their borders. Those plans will be reviewed by the federal
government for approval. In the interim, however, the CBD industry has expanded in the last six
months and businesses are operating throughout the country without much oversight.
In their public comment to the FDA, the Attorneys General call for:
• State and federal cooperation around cannabis-derived products: As the primary
enforcers of state laws and consumer protections, State AGs want to ensure the safety of
CBD and other cannabis-derived products that are reaching consumers. AGs are also
concerned that companies may rely on misleading advertising and unsubstantiated claims
to lure consumers to use their products. The letter urges the FDA to include State AGs in
the process as the agency considers regulatory oversight in testing and manufacturing of
these products.
• Continued study of the potential risks and benefits of these products: To keep
consumers safe and help them make informed decisions, the AGs encourage the FDA to
study how cannabis compounds work, in particular, and how they interact with drugs and
dietary supplements. They also emphasize the need for an assessment of the risks these
products pose to vulnerable populations, such as children, pregnant women, and the
elderly. It is important that consumers have reliable risk and benefit information to make
informed choices about initiating and continuing the use of these products.
The multistate coalition includes the states and territories of Alabama, Alaska, California,
Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana,
Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana
Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia,
and Washington.
A copy of the comments are attached to this release.

Raul Torrez

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