First Cannabis Retail & Manufacturing Licenses Issued

NMRLD News:

SANTA FE — The Cannabis Control Division of the Regulation and Licensing Department Wednesday announced that they had issued the first new cannabis retail and manufacturing licenses under the Cannabis Regulation Act, creating jobs and bringing the state another step closer to the successful launch of adult-use cannabis sales by April 1.

“With each day New Mexico’s adult-use cannabis industry is growing,” Cannabis Control Division Director Kristen Thomson said. “Bringing manufacturers and retailers online is an important milestone that allows more businesses, entrepreneurs and communities to maximize the economic opportunities adult-use cannabis sales will provide. These three licensees alone plan to hire nearly 130 full- and part-time workers.”

The first retail licenses went to a pair of Albuquerque based businesses, Enchanted Botanicals and Dulce Cannabis.

Enchanted Botanicals, owned and founded by two brothers from Albuquerque, plans two locations in the city, one in Nob Hill and one at San Mateo and Menaul. They also expect to engage 20 construction workers as they set up shop and plan to ultimately have 60 employees at a total of seven locations.

“We are incredibly proud of New Mexico for the progress that’s been made around cannabis and honored that we have the opportunity to be a part of this new industry,” owner and founder Pierre Amestoy III said. “My brother and I were born and raised in Albuquerque, and we’re excited to be bringing all of our cannabis experience and the most innovative growing practices back to our hometown.”

Dulce Cannabis will be welcoming customers to their Carlisle Blvd. location when sales begin. Dulce will start with six new hires, with more possible as the business grows.

“We are excited to be a part of the cannabis movement,” Samantha county said, owner of Dulce Cannabis. “Most of all, we are grateful. As a locally owned business, we are looking forward to serving and giving back to our community.”

Manufacturing business Vana, based in Clovis, is ready to get to work. The minority, woman-owned business, which also has production capacity and plans retail locations, says it is committed to lifting up rural communities and providing quality products around the state. Vana is planning for 40 employees between its manufacturing facility and a planned retail location.

“We are so grateful for this opportunity to grow and manufacture cannabis and are looking forward to serving New Mexico,” Vana founder and CEO Parin Kumar. “We hope to educate fellow New Mexicans about the benefits of cannabis and provide a variety of consistent, high-quality products.”

Through an open and transparent process, the CCD has been working since its creation June 29 to create regulations for the new cannabis industry. Producer rules were finalized first, ahead of a September 1 statutory deadline. Rules for other sectors, including retail and manufacturing, were adopted by the January 1 statutory deadline. The adult-use cannabis industry is expected to bring in $300 million in sales each year, create 11,000 jobs and generate $50 million in state revenue in the first year alone.

“This is an exciting time to for New Mexico’s new cannabis industry,” Thomson said. “These licenses are historic and not only move New Mexico forward, but also reflect New Mexico values of social equity and fairness.”

With 285 submitted applications, not including existing medical licensees, the Cannabis Control Division’s professional staff is working with prospective licensees to complete their applications and approve licenses. Unlike in some other states, there is no limit on the number of cannabis licenses in New Mexico. Applicants who complete the licensing process will receive a license.

To date, the CCD has issued 14 new producer licenses—9 of which are microbusinesses; two retail licenses; and two manufacturing licenses. The CCD has also renewed licenses for the 34 legacy medical cannabis producers and approved 13 new premises.

The Cannabis Regulation Act, passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor last year, requires sales of adult-use cannabis to begin no later than April 1.

Anyone interested in applying for a cannabis license should visit the CCD website at ccd.rld.state.nm.us. Prospective licensees are encouraged to review the online checklists and participate in the CCD’s Grow New Mexico online business-development classes to make sure they have a strong foundation of information when they start the process.

The public can also search licensee and application information online.

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