The Albuquerque City Council made zoning restrictions and allowances for recreational-use cannabis official Thursday night after a six hour meeting to approve the city’s updated Integrated Development Ordinance.
For weeks, both those in the medical cannabis industry and those hoping to be a part of the recreational-use cannabis industry have raised their concerns about zoning proposals related to cannabis, namely those that came from Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller’s office. But the council rejected all but one proposal from Keller’s administration.
Most of the concern from the cannabis industry was that the city would effectively zone out new cannabis retailers, manufacturers and retailers.
Keller’s office originally proposed barring cannabis retail stores from areas that are considered to be a Main Street Corridor, or sections of the city designed to be walkable with local businesses. Examples of Main Street Corridors in Albuquerque are Nob Hill, downtown and the Barelas neighborhood, just south of downtown.
Keller’s proposal would have prohibited cannabis retail shops “abtutting” those areas, in addition to prohibiting them from being within 300 feet of areas zoned as residential. All but one councilor voted against the measure. Councilor Trudy Jones, who sponsored the proposal, said she ultimately decided to vote against the proposal after talking to local businesses along Central in the Nob Hill neighborhood.
“They would welcome having cannabis within our requirements, our laws and our regulations on Central, because they are dying,” Jones said.