The state is considering offering publicly financed loans to cannabis microbusinesses. The New Mexico Finance Authority recently proposed opening a $5 million line of credit to small business owners looking to break into the adult-use cannabis industry.

Under the proposal cannabis microbusinesses—those that grow less than 200 plants—would gain access to loans of up to $250,000. The move is being made to meet the Cannabis Regulation Act’s requirements that the state create programs addressing equity and give representatives of communities that have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis laws greater access to the industry.

New Mexico Finance Authority CEO Marquita Russel told the Associated Press that cannabis companies have trouble receiving traditional business loans. This makes it difficult for small-time entrepreneurs to get the capital needed to undertake such an expensive venture. The proposed lending plan would bar experienced medical cannabis producers and other large corporations from taking part in the program.

The program still has to be approved by a legislative oversight committee and the New Mexico Finance Authority board.

Cannabis Advisory Committee Members Needed

Last week New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department Superintendent Linda M. Trujillo announced that two positions on the Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee are open, and the agency is looking for experts to fill them.

“We are moving quickly to fill these positions to ensure that the Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee can continue its important work to support the medical and adult-use cannabis industries in New Mexico,” said Trujillo.

The RLD is looking for an individual with expertise in small business development and one with experience in environmental science. The Cannabis Regulation Act requires that the advisory committee’s seats be filled by experts in certain fields. The committee advises the Cannabis Control Division in matters of policy regarding best practices, promotion of economic and cultural diversity in the industry and public health and safety.

The spots have been left open after one committee member passed away and another stepped down. Candidates can apply online at the CCD website before Oct. 27.

Americans Want to Live Where It’s Legal

According to a new survey from real estate company Redfin, the majority of Americans want to live in areas where cannabis has been legalized.

In August the survey asked 1,023 U.S. residents who had moved into a new home in the last 18 months to rank their willingness to live in a place where cannabis is fully legal. Among the respondents, 46 percent said they prefer to live where marijuana is “fully legal,” compared to just 22 percent who would prefer to live where the drug remains illegal. A fairly large portion of participants—32 percent—said they didn’t care about the issue. Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr said that the politics of a place is less important than home affordability and access to jobs and schools.