More than 1,500 Adult-Use License Applications Submitted in New Mexico

More than 1,500 Adult-Use License Applications Submitted in New Mexico

More than 1,500 prospective cannabis entrepreneurs have submitted applications for adult-use licenses two months after the New Mexico Cannabis Control Division (CCD) began accepting requests.

Within 90 days, business owners’ submitted applications are approved or rejected by the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, according to the Cannabis Business Times. Today, we’ve gotten word that the first licenses are being awarded, and we’ll be following up on that later in the week.

New Mexico state regulators do not have plans to limit the number of cannabis producer licenses issued out. The Cannabis Regulation Act, which legalized recreational marijuana, went into effect on June 29.

“We’re off to a great start. I don’t know that we could have anticipated what the demand was going to be other than knowing there really seems to be a great excitement across the state,” New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department deputy superintendent David Blair said in an interview with KRQE. “If a million New Mexicans want to get a license, we would license a million people.” 

The state is taking a free-market approach that will promote plenty of competition between businesses seeking to grow cannabis and engage in retail. 

The application process is not simple or inexpensive, though, which will limit the number of people who can apply. One of the applicants, Jonathan LeDuc, told KRQE that the CCD required him to submit the following documents:

  • Government ID
  • Current business license
  • Zoning approval
  • Proof of premises ownership
  • Fire inspection report
  • Diagram of the premises
  • Demonstration of water rights
  • Social and economic equality plan

“I think a lot of people will see that first page [of the application], and not even be able to get past that. The barrier for a cannabis business, I think, is huge. I think it’s probably a million dollars entry for any level of cannabis business. And that doesn’t sound like a small business,” LeDuc shared with KRQE.

According to data obtained from CCD, 65% of the applicants are male and mostly white, while there are about 27% of applicants that identify as female. 

“We are committed to doing all we can to ensure that this is as diverse of an industry as it can be and that it lifts up all New Mexicans and not just a handful of wealthy white men,” Blair said in his KRQE interview. 

Many of the applicants for licenses are based in Albuquerque and expect to overcome the challenges associated with opening and running a cannabis business. 

“Coming into any type of industry, you’re going to have some sort of competition,” said Jennie Lury, part-owner of Cranium Extracts, in an interview with KRQE. “But I think that it’s important for a lot of Mexicans and especially women getting into this business knowing that if we work together, we can definitely develop this community.” Cranium Extracts is a women-owned business that currently has its application under review.

Across the country, regulators and investors seek to make the cannabis industry more inclusive for women, but oftentimes, women are tasked with forging their way in, sometimes getting assistance from outside social equity entities along the way. In one such instance in Southern California, the first dispensary designed by and for women of color opened in Los Angeles last month. 

New Mexico residents can expect to purchase their favorite cannabis flowers to consume in water pipes when sales begin on April 1, 2022.

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