The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department’s Cannabis Control Division (CCD) is ready to start working on its social equity policies, and it’s seeking comments from the public.

According to a press release from the division, the Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee (CRAC) is putting together recommendations for the CCD’s Social Equity Plan as required by the Cannabis Regulation Act. To make the process easier, an online survey has been set up for public input (bit.ly/3q9yUtZ).

The survey asks for specific opinions on what barriers exist for those trying to enter into the adult-use cannabis industry “with a particular focus on assisting communities that have been disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs.” Questions cover topics like eligibility criteria and specific strategies to address equity issues in New Mexico.

“Ensuring social equity in the cannabis industry is a priority for the governor, the Legislature, the Cannabis Control Division and the Advisory Committee,” said committee chairwoman Emily Kaltenbach. “We can only create and implement an effective Social Equity Plan, though, if we get input from the public through an open and transparent process. We encourage anyone interested in this new industry to complete our online survey and provide public comment at our committee hearing on Thursday.”

Recommendations from CRAC will be made this fall.

Carlsbad Sets Pot Regulations

The City of Carlsbad has passed an ordinance setting zoning regulations for cannabis businesses.

According to Carlsbad Current Argus cannabis sales are limited to rural residential districts, neighborhood-scale retail, community-scale retail and industrial districts. Cannabis sales will not be allowed in residential districts. The city also placed limits on cannabis operations around schools and daycares in line with the state law but added a 300-foot limit from places of worship and public parks. “That is for any cannabis establishment. Consumption can only take place in an approved consumption area or private residence,” City of Carlsbad attorney Denise Madrid-Boyea told reporters.

The city ordinance included requirements for adult-use marijuana producers in the city to set aside 25 percent of their inventory for medical cannabis patients. It also allows all existing medical cannabis dispensaries to continue operating regardless of zoning conflicts, unless they decide to start selling recreational cannabis as well.

Lawmakers: Biden Could Legalize Cannabis

Congressional researchers say the Biden administration could legalize cannabis at the federal level without the need for legislative intervention.

Last week the Congressional Research Service published a report claiming that President Joe Biden could grant clemency to all marijuana offenders without reserve and could pursue the appointment of agency officials who could deschedule the drug.

“Although the President may not unilaterally deschedule or reschedule a controlled substance, he does possess a large degree of indirect influence over scheduling decisions,” wrote the report’s authors. It also concluded that the executive branch has the authority to reclassify cannabis while it might not be able to declassify it completely.

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