The Santa Fe Planning Commission on Thursday offered the first glimpse at proposed regulations for recreational cannabis within city limits.
Its recommendations include:
- A minimum buffer of 300 to 600 feet for cannabis retailers in the city. It is also examining whether other cannabis businesses should have similar buffers.
- Operating hours would be between 7 a.m. and midnight.
- Cannabis businesses would be no closer than 300 feet from a school.
- A special-use permit would be required for all outdoor commercial growing operations; all large growing operations; and all growing operations in C-2, business and industrial park districts.
On Thursday, Planning Secretary Janet Clow pointed out that Albuquerque enacted a one-year moratorium on any retail cannabis business in its Old Town District.
She said she was in favor of a similar moratorium for downtown Santa Fe to protect its character, but the proposal lacked support.
“I do think these new businesses will follow the money, and the money is going to be downtown,” Clow said.
By placing a buffer around downtown, the commission might push cannabis businesses into the city’s residential areas, Commissioner Pilar Faulkner said.
“We didn’t want one district to have the lion’s share in a positive way or the lion’s share in a negative way,” Faulkner said.
The commission did not vote Thursday on the proposed regulations.
The state Regulation and Licensing Department is asking municipalities to craft ordinances regulating recreational cannabis by Sept. 1, when it intends to start accepting and approving producer licenses.
Cities and counties cannot ban cannabis, but they can regulate density and hours of operation.
Santa Fe County approved its first set of cannabis ordinances last week.