The New Mexico Finance Authority Oversight Committee on Tuesday approved a $5 million loan program aimed at helping licensed cannabis microbusinesses. The program is specifically for business owners from communities disproportionately impacted by the state’s previous cannabis law or located in rural communities.
Under the program, individual loans are capped at $250,000 and officials said the expected loan size is $100,000. There is a minimum 5% equity requirement and the loans will be fully collateralized, the Regulation and Licensing Department said in a press release, and loan terms will go up to five years with interest rates varying from 2% to 3%.
Marquita Russel, CEO of the New Mexico Finance Authority, said the program will provide “access to capital to help even more New Mexicans benefit from the economic opportunities created by the legalization of adult-use cannabis.”
“This program will give New Mexico small businesses, particularly in rural and economically-disadvantaged communities, a tool to make this industry more accessible and help get their businesses off the ground.” — Russel in a statement
Linda Trujillo, superintendent of the Regulation and Licensing Department, which houses the Cannabis Control Division, said the agency decided to make the loans available after officials “listened to and really heard concerns that it’s hard for microbusinesses to access the capital needed to start a successful business.”
“This Administration is committed to creating a thriving cannabis industry that incorporates New Mexico’s values of social equity and fairness,” she said in a statement. “We are grateful to be able to work with the New Mexico Finance Authority to put forward this loan program to make good on our commitment to social equity in this exciting new industry.”
The application system for the program is expected to be available by February 1 and applications will be accepted and reviewed on a monthly basis, the agency said, with the first loans expected to be available in March 2022.
Adult-use cannabis sales are expected in the state no later than April 1, 2022.
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