St. Paul, MN (May 14, 2019) – The MN Hemp Association, a 501(c)(4) group of farmers,processors, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and service providers focused on promoting the economic means and involvement of the hemp trade in the state of Minnesota, held a press conference at the MN Capitol today where they discussed their concerns with proposed legislation currently before the Health and Human Services Conference Committee.
“The MN Hemp Association is absolutely supportive of regulations that will ensure the safety of consumers,” said Zach Robins, counsel to the Minnesota Hemp Association and attorney at Messerli Kramer. “However, there is much work to do. CBD should be safe and affordable for consumers while also sustainable for the businesses that are creating products. If passed as proposed, consumers will find it difficult to get the safe and affordable products they demand.”
Robins urged legislators to engage the fast-growing CBD industry – including farmers, retailers, and consumers – in their discussions. “We suggest delaying this legislation until next session and holding hearings to get feedback from affected and interested parties.”
Steven Brown, MN Hemp Association director and CEO of Nothing But Hemp in Minneapolis, said he agrees with the state that we need accurate labels, but wants to work collaboratively to determine what information labels should include.
Addressing questions about the potential effect to retailers, Brown explained, “What we’re struggling with is the word ‘accurate’. For example, the industry standard is 10-15% variance and other states, like Oregon, are making allowances for this.”
Josh Maslowski, MN Hemp Association director and founder of Stigma Hemp in Minneapolis, shared his concerns as a local producer. “Everybody in the local hemp industry wants to make this a ‘Minnesota-first economy’ and the MN Hemp Association is ready and willing to be part of the conversation to create a long-term, sustainable economy in Minnesota.”
“We just want to get it right,” continued Maslowski. “We don’t want labeling requirements to be harmful to our business while we’re making the products our consumers are asking for.” Robins added: “Other states have taken the time to host hearings including retailers and industry associations like ours to get feedback on the specifics. What we don’t want is for this provision to pass and six months from now, every manufacturer is running around trying to determine how they will be compliant with a provision that hasn’t been fully spelled out.”
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