New Mexico sets up cannabis advisory board ahead of schedule


DEMING – Ahead of the legal deadline, New Mexico’s newly formed Cannabis Control Division set up the Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee to advise them on forming the state’s cannabis industry for adult use.

New Mexico legalized cannabis for adults age 21 and older earlier this year through laws that provide a process for building the regulatory framework that will govern and tax the new market.

Possession and use of certain amounts of cannabis products became legal on June 29, but the CCD – a division of the state’s regulatory and licensing division – has until next April to retail through licensed and regulated providers. Regulators have promised to do this sooner.

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Las Cruces-based Sonia Flores lights a cannabis cigarette on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, the first day recreational cannabis became legal in New Mexico.

The Advisory Committee, which is tasked with advising the CCD on administrative regulations, taking into account public safety and equal opportunities for access to economic opportunities, had to be set up by September 1 in accordance with the Cannabis Regulation Act. The members of the panel were announced on Friday, almost a month ahead of schedule.

The 17 members of the committee were:

  • Emily Kaltenbach, senior director of the Drug Policy Alliance in Santa Fe County
  • Esther Lopez, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union representative from Bernalillo County
  • Nathaniel Paolinello of Bernalillo County, a medical cannabis patient
  • Paul Haidle, senior strategy strategist at the ACLU of New Mexico in Albuquerque
  • Perry Martinez from San Ildefonso Pueblo, Santa Fe County
  • Dr. Steven Jenison of Rio Arriba County, former member and chairman of the state’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Council.
  • Lou Ann Branch, Director of Pharmacy at the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque
  • Ginger Baker of Bernalillo County, for clinical expertise in cannabis laboratory science
  • Environmental scientist Miguel Santistevan from Taos County
  • Clovis Director of Economic Development Chase Gentry
  • Harold Trujillo of Mora County for his expertise in water issues.
  • Richard Bailey of Rio Arriba County, President of Northern New Mexico College in EspaƱola
  • Rachael Speegle, pharmacy operator in Bernalillo County
  • Attorney General Bennett J. Baur of Santa Fe County
  • Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage
  • District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies of the New Mexico 1st Judicial District in the Santa Fe District.
  • Roswell Police Chief Phil Smith

The committee’s first public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 10th at 9:00 am to discuss draft rules for cannabis producers.

Hundreds gather in Albuquerque for the New Mexico cannabis legalization conference on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

The agency announced on Friday that due to ongoing public health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public will only be allowed to attend via video conference, which will be accessible online at https: //ccd.rld.state.nm. US.

“We are acting quickly and carefully to build a thriving adult cannabis industry in New Mexico,” said RLD Superintendent Linda Trujillo in a statement. “Today’s nomination of the members of the committee is the perfect timing and ensures that this attentive, public group can review any rule the Cannabis Control Division proposes.”

Algernon D’Ammassa can be reached at 575-541-5451,, or @AlgernonWrites on Twitter.

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