Majority of New Mexico’s 1,000 Cannabis Licenses Issued to Companies Controlled by Men

New Mexico has awarded more than 1,000 cannabis industry licenses but about 70% of the licenses so far were issued to companies controlled by men.

Full story after the jump.

New Mexico has approved more than 1,000 cannabis industry licenses in the year-plus since adult cannabis use was legalized; however, 70% of those licenses were issued to businesses controlled by men, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports. During a presentation to lawmakers on Tuesday, Andrew Vallejos, director of the Alcohol and Gaming Division of the state Regulation and Licensing Department, which houses the Cannabis Control Division (CCD), said that 38% of licensees who identified as white also cited some Latino, Hispanic or Spanish origin and that 40% of the state’s cannabis licenses were issued to minorities. 

Vallejos said the figure “bodes well” for the state’s efforts for an equitable industry.  

It is not known, though, how many of those licenses went to New Mexicans as the CCD does not keep track of that information, the report says. Robert Sachs, CCD’s deputy director of policy, told lawmakers on the Legislature’s interim Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee that he believes most of the controlling entities are from within the state but would need to conduct a more comprehensive search to make that determination. 

So far, regulators have approved 1,027 cannabis licenses, with 292 – the largest amount – going to retailers. There have been 188 cannabis producer licenses issued, along with 91manufacturer licenses, 202 cannabis microbusiness licenses, and 100 vertically integrated licenses, the report says. 

During the meeting, state Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D) said that the figures don’t say enough about who is actually controlling and profiting from the businesses and that there are likely between six and 10 businesses in the state that will dominate and create a “super monopoly.” He added that if out-of-state companies come into New Mexico and buy up those big companies, officials may “have potentially created a monster.”

New Mexico in July saw its highest combined medical and adult-use sales to date, reaching $40.3 million.  

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