Las Cruces city leaders are proposing to remove rules that limit how close cannabis businesses can operate from residential areas and each other.
Las Cruces Sun News reports that the proposal was made during a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Senior City Planner Katherine Harrison-Rogers argued that the current zoning rules that limit cannabis companies from operating within 300 feet of single-family residential zones or another cannabis business are unfair compared to rules observed by other, similar industries. It was noted that pharmacies and bars do not have similar limitations.
Rules that block cannabis companies from operating within 300 feet of schools and daycare centers will remain in place. Proposed amendments are scheduled for a vote on Oct. 3.
Last week the Las Cruces City Council approved an appeal that will allow Mesilla Valley Pharmacy to sell THC-infused products even though the building is located less than 300 feet from a school. According to KFOX, Mesilla Valley CEO and manager Joaquin Acosta told the council that its doors are about 250 feet from New America School, but cannabis products will be sold in a restricted area within the pharmacy.
UNM Studies Pot and Water
Researchers at the University of New Mexico found that legalizing home cannabis cultivation led to a statewide increase in water usage.
According to a press release, Associate Professor Sarah Stith and Professor Janie Chermak studied data from the Santa Fe Water Division of the Santa Fe Public Utilities Department and from a small, fielded survey on home cultivation experience and preferences.
The researchers found an average monthly increase in water use of 36 gallons per household—or 1.27 million gallons overall—following cannabis legalization. The data suggested home growers prefer indoor growing and that the quality and cost of home-grown cannabis was comparable to dispensary-sourced cannabis. The researchers recommend that growers learn low-water growing methods.
More Americans Smoke Pot Than Tobacco
For the first time ever in a Gallup poll, more Americans say they’ve smoked cannabis than those who have smoked a tobacco cigarette.
The poll asked 1,013 American adults about their smoking habits. It found that around 16 percent currently smoke cannabis, while 48 percent said they have tried it at some point. Comparatively, only 11 percent of respondents said that they are tobacco cigarette smokers.
In 1969, the first time that the question was asked on the Gallup poll, only 4 percent of respondents said they had ever tried cannabis while 40 percent were tobacco smokers. In 2013, only seven percent of those polled said that they currently use cannabis.
Tobacco use has dropped dramatically in recent decades. According to the poll, it reached its height in the mid-50s with around 45 percent of respondents reporting that they smoked cigarettes.