Ex-New Mexico Gov. Johnson named pot company CEO

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Image: Gov. Gary Johnson
Presidential hopeful former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson speaks to a crowd of Tea Party supporters at the Hyatt Regency, Thursday, May 5, 2011 in Greenville, S.C.. A handful of Republican hopefuls were in Greenville Thursday for the first GOP debate of the 2012 presidential race.RICHARD SHIRO / AP file

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A Nevada-based startup that plans on selling medical and recreational marijuana products named former New Mexico governor and U.S. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson as its CEO and president, the company announced Tuesday. The announcement came as Cannabis Sativa Inc. said it had acquired marijuana research business Kush while company officials work to navigate changing state laws on marijuana and potential challenges from the federal government, which still views marijuana as a controlled substance.

Johnson, who owned a construction company that helped build Intel Corp.'s Rio Rancho, New Mexico, plant before entering politics, said the company will make marijuana-based oils aimed at helping children with epilepsy. The two-term governor also said it will make cough drop-like products for recreational use.

"Couple of things hit you when you try the product. One is, wow, why would anybody smoke marijuana given this is an alternative?" Johnson said. "And then secondly, it's just very, very pleasant. I mean, very pleasant."

The company still is working to determine what its limitations are under federal law, which is in conflict with Colorado and Washington, Johnson said.

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- The Associated Press

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