In a special session earlier this year, the State Legislature legalized adult-use cannabis a.k.a. recreational cannabis. Now, the State is taking public comment on a set of draft rules to implement the new law.
It is important for acequia leaders to participate in this process to guide the state toward a cannabis industry that protects our precious water resources and that fosters an economy that is more inclusive and equitable for small, rural producers. To read comments already submitted by NMAA, click here: Amended Final NMAA Comments on Cannabis Producer License Rules June 16 2021
Join the New Mexico Acequia Association as we share information about the public comment process including talking points about water and equity and tips on how to submit comments through the Cannabis Control Division website, email, and snail mail. Click here for the instructions on submitting comments.
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
10:00am – 11:30am
Join virtually by Zoom or phone
Overall, NMAA is requesting in our comments that regulations should be consistent with the language of the state law that was recently passed, the Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA). NMAA worked hard to advocate for language in the new law that protects water and requires that rules include provisions for social equity.
The June 29th hearing should be delayed until the Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee is created and has an opportunity to review these proposed rules.
Prevent illegal uses of water. The CRA requires specific protections to ensure that cannabis growers have a a legal right to a commercial water supply, water rights or another source of water and that they provide the following as part of their license application: 1) documentation from the State Engineer or 2) documentation of compliance with the rules of the water provider for that use.
Hold licensees accountable for the amount of water they use. To effectively implement the CRA, NMAA is recommending that regulations require license holders provide documentation of the estimated amount of water usage for cannabis production and that they include water use data in quarterly reports to the regulation and licensing department.
Ensure smaller growers have the opportunity to benefit from the cannabis economy. Although the CRA lacks robust equity provisions like in other states that legalized recreational cannabis, the CRA does require that the Cannabis Control Division to promulgate rules encouraging agricultural producers from economically disadvantaged communities.