Talon News - Good Local News



January 11, 2019


Photo and story by Pilar Owens, TALON

Kim D'Spain and Barbara Slay started a business called Compassionate Hearts. In July of 2017, the ladies planned to open their business in Aztec, so they completed the city's business registration form, paid the required fee, and left their business card and brochure with the business license department.

Within a week, Aztec's Business Office Director gave them a call. The director had found that in addition to helping people get their medical cannabis card, D'Spain and Slay were in the business of selling hemp Cannabidiol (CBD) products. Hemp and marijuana are the same plant, explained Slay, but when hemp grows and is processed it contains less than .3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the cannabinoid in marijuana that gets people high.

According to Slay, hemp is federally classified as a controlled substance, even though it has negligible amounts of THC. But it's a "gray area" that no one regulates. You can buy hemp products online in any state, AND you can buy them in Bloomfield, Farmington, and Durango. But, for some reason, said Slay, the city attorney at the time decided to follow the federal laws against hemp products. In order to get their business license with the city, the business partners had to give the city a letter promising they wouldn't sell CBD products.

In order for Compassionate Hearts to sell CBD products, the city required them to have a letter from the state stating that CBD products are legal. "Every month I was trying everybody across the state to see if anybody would write us a letter stating it was legal," began Slay, "and nobody would go out on a limb and do it."

In May of 2018, a veto by Governor Susana Martinez of State House Bill 126 was overturned. The bill exempts hemp from classification as a controlled substance--making it officially legal in New Mexico.

When the bill passed, the business partners gave the information to Community Development Director Steven Saavedra and Mayor Victor Snover. These city officials talked to Police Chief Mike Heal.

"Finally everybody got their ducks lined up and said, 'Okay!,'" Slay chuckled, "and we said 'Yes! Thank you Jesus.'"

What motivated the ladies to continue when trying to sell CBD products turned into an ordeal? D'Spain enthusiastically jumped into the conversation here and said with conviction, "Because we know how beneficial (hemp based CBD products are.)" Slay related a story of a person who suffers from seizures. When they felt a seizure coming on, they used a CBD product, and the seizure stopped.

D'Spain told her personal story, "I've had cancer twice, I have pain issues, I choose not to use pharmaceuticals for any of that now." Some patients may not want a medical cannabis card, or they may be waiting for it. In the meantime, they can benefit from CBD products. CBD and THC products compliment each other, and work best together, "...but CBD alone helps sooo many ailments that it's just unfair to people to not have that as a choice," said D'Spain.

Slay added, "And not just for humans." A woman was banging on their door Monday morning. The hemp drops she bought for her dog helped so much, she didn't want to run out again, and bought two bottles.

Besides remedying physical ailments, D'Spain mentioned CBD's could remedy the opioid crisis "...I mean that's the real goal here; is to be able to use things that are beneficial without killing yourself...So we're really thrilled we can have CBD products now--and especially a really great brand, you know, brand that we believe in, that we've seen such great results with."


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