LAS CRUCES, NM (KFOX) — On Apr. 1 New Mexico will join a wave of states to sell recreational marijuana.
The City of Las Cruces is kicking off 2022 with preparation and planning as that date inches near.
Nearly 100 people filled the seats of City Hall’s Council Chambers on Wednesday for the start of a two-day seminar with local and state agencies to help educate and prepare those who would like to grow, sell and distribute.
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On top of that 100, 70 people joined via zoom.
“We are starting to see an influx in applications for recreational businesses,” Irene Parra, the Interim Business Development Administrator for the city said.
Wednesday’s seminar went over licensing, economic development, agriculture, water rights, and finances to name a few.
In attendance via zoom for presentations was the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, the New Mexico Economic Development Department, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, financial institutions including New Mexico Angels, Southwest Capital Bank, and Aery Group and Seedcrest, and the New Mexico Small Business Development Center.
“The hope is people will want to come to this area to start business, we’re hoping to generate business from the El Paso area because Texas of course has not legalized it recreationally,” Parra said.
That right there, is exactly what Glen Astrove with Rich Global Corp has done.
“We operate in seven different states, we feel that New Mexico has efficiencies geographically greater than any other state in the United States of America and we’re pleased to report we’ve come here and we’ve bought a million square foot facility here in Las Cruces located at 4884 South Main Street,” Astrove said.
There are four greenhouses on the facility’s property. The workers tell KFOX14 that one greenhouse alone will be able to hold 10,000 plants.
“We’re here with experience, years of experience, over 25 years of experience in the industry and we’re hopeful participants in New Mexico’s adult-use industry,” Astrove.
With the real estate market already hot, Astrove isn’t the only one to have secured a building to grow, sell and distribute.
“It’s a pretty big facility that we’re about to embark on, I don’t think the scale has been done here,” Victor Duran said.
The same goes for Las Cruces resident Christopher Baca.
“We have secured a location, we got all of our water rights situated and secured from the city, our zoning regulations,” Baca said.
While the industry is getting closer to open for business, there is many rules and regulations people will have to follow. Retailers and manufacturers must have a license, install high-resolution security cameras, have proof of water rights and complete workplace training measures.
“Our application is submitted, we did hire an attorney as well to do all the legwork for us and right now we are just pretty much in the waiting process,” Duran said.
On Thursday another seminar will be held at 10 a.m. in the council chambers of City Hall where entities like police, fire and utilities will present an overview of what the cannabis market and rules will look like in the city come April 1st.
In addition, every Wednesday from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. cannabis business pre-application meetings are held in conference room 1158.
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