In about seven weeks, adult-use cannabis retail shops are expected to open for the first time in New Mexico. But local ordinances and permitting processes in the state’s most populous city are causing confusion for some that are hoping to be among those businesses that start selling non-medical cannabis on April 1.
Last week, the City of Albuquerque’s Planning Department announced that it would be accepting applications for “Cannabis Retail Location Approval,” and that any cannabis business that intends to sell cannabis to the public would need city approval. But at least two cannabis businesses were under the impression they were already approved for retail sales.
The cannabis business licensing process starts at the state’s Cannabis Control Division. That division requires certain information and approval from local jurisdictions before issuing a state license to grow, manufacture or sell cannabis.
Matt Muñoz, who is one of three owners of Carver Family Farm has seen first-hand the sometimes cyclical nature of licensure. Before Carver Family Farm could get licensed by the state, the company needed proof that its operations were in compliance with local zoning codes.