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New Mexico: Governor Vetoes Industrial Hemp Bill


By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Susana Martinez, Governor of New Mexico, has vetoed a bill that would have created a research program for industrial hemp.

The Democrat-sponsored bill was vetoed by the second-term Republican governor on Wednesday without comment.

The bill would have required the New Mexico Department of Agriculture to set up an industrial hemp research program for cultivation and marketing.

Democratic Sen. Cisco McSorley of Albuquerque has authored a more restrictive bill which is on its way to the governor's desk right now. McSorley says it addresses concerns raised by Martinez two years ago about potential conflicts with federal law and provides for police training.

Thirty-one states have authorized hemp research. The 2014 federal farm bill allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp projects for research and development.

New Mexico: Albuquerque City Council Votes 5-4 To Decriminalize Marijuana Possession


Companion Resolution, Making Marijuana a Low Law Enforcement Priority Also Passes

Albuquerque city council members Monday night voted 5-4 on party lines in favor of Ordinance 15-60 to remove criminal sanctions pertaining to possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia from the city’s municipal codes and replace them with a $25 fine. The measure now heads to the Mayor who has the authority to veto the legislation.

A companion resolution, also voted on Monday night, that would make marijuana possession violations a low priority for the Albuquerque Police Department, passed 6-3 with Republican Councilor Brad Winter joining the Democrats in support.

"We are criminalizing people not only for the use [of marijuana], but for life," said Rey Garduño, president of the City Council and the legislation co-sponsor, in his opening remarks. "We shouldn't curtail them for such a minor infraction."

Last fall, Garduño sponsored a similar measure that also passed the council 5-4 on a party line vote. However, it was vetoed by Mayor Richard J. Berry.

Since then, Albuquerque residents voiced their support at the ballot box for decriminalizing marijuana. In November, voters in Santa Fe County and Bernalillo County voiced overwhelming support for marijuana decriminalization. Bernalillo County voted 60 percent and Santa Fe County voted 73 percent in favor of statewide decriminalization. More than 50 percent of Albuquerque voters in all nine city council districts voted to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

New Mexico: Steep Hill Receives First Provisional Approval For Lab Cannabis Testing


Steep Hill, which specializes in cannabis testing and analytics in the United States and internationally, has announced intends to open a full service medical cannabis quality assurance laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, bringing advanced scientific tools and methodology to the state, for regulatory oversight of cannabis.

Steep Hill is currently the only laboratory licensed by the New Mexico Department of Health to conduct potency and contaminant testing in order to meet the recently adopted regulatory requirements pertaining to cannabis safety for medical patients in New Mexico, according to a prepared statement from the company.

"We are excited to bring our entire suite of products to New Mexico, including our QuantaCann2™ - an advanced cloud-based potency monitoring system," said David Lampach, CEO and cofounder of Steep Hill. "This will enable the state to meet its THC and CBD testing requirements, while also providing regulators with a real time window into the marketplace."

The State of New Mexico requires regular testing be done in a Department of Health approved laboratory as the only acceptable method to determine the quality, purity and potency required for the sale of medical cannabis products.

For more information about cannabis testing, you can visit the Steep Hill website:

About Steep Hill

New Mexico: Man Forgets 139 Pounds of Marijuana In Rental Car


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

David Ung of Albuquerque remembered his luggage when he returned a rental car on Tuesday. He didn't forget his cell phone or plane ticket for the Albuquerque Sunport. But he did forget 139 pounds of "high grade" marijuana in several black trash bags in the trunk of the vehicle he returned to Hertz Rent a Car near the airport.

Aviation police officers told the Albuquerque Police Department that Ung, 40, dropped off the car, but returned, saying he'd left a bag inside the vehicle, reports Nicole Perez at the Albuquerque Journal.

But when employees started cleaning the car, they found several large bags filled with marijuana. Homeland Security and the Sunport Police were called to investigate.

By the time Ung got back, officers had already found several black trash bags full of cannabis, packaged in 124 heat-sealed clear bags, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court on Wednesday.

"I can't believe that would happen here at the airport where there's a lot of security," said Tanya Hernandez, reports KTRK. "It's just ironic that people could do that."

Ung was detained at the scene, and refused to talk to police with an attorney present. He was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and booked into the county jail on $10,000 bail.

New Mexico: Albuquerque Mayor Vetoes Marijuana Decrim Bill


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico's biggest city, on Friday vetoed a measure that would have allowed voters to decide whether to decriminalize marijuana possession in much the same way that the Santa Fe City Council did in the state's capital city two days earlier.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said in a video message posted on YouTube that he vetoed the bill because marijuana is illegal, and decriminalizing it would pose conflicts with state and local laws, reports Russell Contreras of the Associated Press.

"The original form of this bill actually has several measures that I really want to see the voters of Albuquerque weigh in on," Mayor Berry claimed. "Unfortunately, at the last minute there were measures added that I, in good conscience, cannot sign, including flying in the face of federal and state law."

Berry claimed he didn't want to get Albuquerque into a legal fight. Decrim supporters criticized the mayor for his decision.

"We're disappointed to see the mayor turn away from the opportunity to let city voters have a [say in] how our city deals with crime and justice issues," said Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico, one of the organizations that sponsored the campaigns to reduce marijuana penalties in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

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