Albuquerque Considers New Restrictive Cannabis Zoning Regulations

The City Council in Alburquerque has proposed harsh new cannabis zoning regulations that would restrict industry advertising options and further limit the locations where cannabis businesses can operate.

Full story after the jump.

The Albuquerque City Council is considering cannabis zoning regulations that are more restrictive than New Mexico’s recently passed adult-use rules, according to KQRE.

At the request of Mayor Tim Keller, the proposals seek to limit retail cannabis hours from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm and to ban retail cannabis shops from opening within 660 feet of “main street” locations. Loosely defined as “linear development along a pedestrian-friendly street, typically emphasizing small and local retail and office uses,” there are multiple “main street” areas in Albuquerque, according to the report.

Additionally, the rules prevent dispensary signs from displaying a cannabis leaf and must only list the business name, hours of operation, and somehow identify the “nature of the business.” Finally, the rules add places of worship to the list of locations that cannabis businesses must distance themselves from by at least 300 feet — other such locations include schools, daycares, and public play areas.

Pat Davis, a City Councilperson and cannabis industry consultant, expressed concerns about the proposed regulations.

“There may be some other changes that we could do on a neighborhood level to ensure that people feel more comfortable. But this is a bridge too far.” — Davis, via KQRE

Linda Trujillo, the Superintendent of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, said Albuquerque has the authority to regulate cannabis businesses as they see fit, as long as the regulations are “reasonable” — although it is unclear exactly what that means. Commenting on the state-level restrictions, Trujillo said the zoning regulations were “logical.”

“It is about safety,” she said in the report. “For example, the [rule to keep cannabis businesses] 300 feet from a school or daycare center. That’s absolutely in relation to trying to ensure that our youth are safe and that they’re not being targeted for advertisements.”

The city’s Planning Director Brennon Williams said the council must act soon because zoning updates only happen once per year.

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