Last week the Bernalillo County Commission passed an ordinance that sets zoning and operation rules for cannabis businesses. The ordinance only applies to areas of the county outside of Albuquerque.

According to a press release from Bernalillo County, cannabis regulations for unincorporated areas outside the city limits of Albuquerque were approved unanimously last week. The county will allow personal use and production in all county zones and will allow producers to operate outdoor grows “subject to area limitations tied to the size of the property.”

The county will be allowing businesses to operate indoor cannabis lounges where consumers may publicly smoke marijuana products, but it has banned all outdoor consumption areas. Indoor lounges are required to have a carbon filtration system. An earlier draft of the ordinance would reportedly have required that businesses keep separate consumption areas for medical and recreational use, but the language was removed in the final version.

The ordinance only applies to unincorporated areas of the county outside of Albuquerque—where city zoning rules allow for outdoor cannabis consumption areas. Rules for cannabis consumption areas have not yet been finalized by the Cannabis Control Division (CCD) of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department (RLD).

NM Credit Union Certified For Pot Protocols

A local credit union has become the first in the nation to be certified for setting up protocols for banking with cannabis companies.

Last week New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that U.S. Eagle Federal Credit Union has become the first financial institution in the country to be certified for outstanding cannabis and hemp banking protocols. The certificate is from a national program overseen by the Policy Center For Public Health and Safety and state attorneys general. According to a press release, the primary goal of state attorneys general and law enforcement is to “differentiate legal from illicit operations in both cannabis and hemp industries,” and the program will help them do that.

The program curriculum focuses on digital transactions, record-keeping, complying with Department of Justice cannabis enforcement priorities and setting up a national cannabis banking network to share and develop best practices for the industry.

First Licenses Approved

Three adult-use cannabis businesses have been approved for licenses by CCD.

In a recent press release, RLD Superintendent Linda Trujillo said, “With the issuing of these three licenses, the adult-use cannabis industry in New Mexico is officially up and running. In the coming days and weeks, we look forward to licensing more cannabis businesses and microbusinesses so that entrepreneurs, communities and the state can maximize the economic opportunities created by a thriving cannabis industry.”

The licenses were awarded to the Martinez family in Aztec, Carver Family Farm in Albuquerque and Baudaboomz2 in Edgewood.

The CCD has received more than 120 applications for cannabis business licenses. The division has said it will not limit the number of licenses that can be approved.