DEMING – Ahead of its statutory deadline, New Mexico’s newfound Cannabis Control Division has empaneled the Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee to advise it on the formation of the state’s adult-use cannabis industry.
New Mexico legalized cannabis for adults age 21 and older earlier this year through legislation that laid out a process for building the regulatory framework that will govern and tax the new marketplace.
Certain amounts of cannabis products became legal to possess and consume in private on June 29, but the CCD — a division of the state Regulation and Licensing Department — has until next April to open retail sales through licensed and regulated vendors. Regulators have pledged to make it happen sooner.
The advisory committee, charged with advising the CCD on the administrative rules with attention to public safety as well as equity in the access to economic opportunity, was required to be in place by Sept. 1 under the Cannabis Regulation Act. The panel’s members were announced Friday, nearly a month ahead of schedule.
The 17 members named to the committee were:
- Emily Kaltenbach, a senior director of the Drug Policy Alliance in Santa Fe County
- Esther Lopez, representing labor organization United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, from Bernalillo County
- Nathaniel Paolinello of Bernalillo County, a medical cannabis patient
- Paul Haidle, a senior policy strategist at the ACLU of New Mexico in Albuquerque
- Perry Martinez of San Ildefonso Pueblo, Santa Fe County
- Dr. Steven Jenison of Rio Arriba County, a former member and chairman of the state’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.
- Lou Ann Branch, pharmacy director at University of New Mexico in Albuquerque
- Ginger Baker of Bernalillo County, for clinical expertise in cannabis laboratory science
- Environmental science educator Miguel Santistevan of Taos County
- Clovis Economic Development Director Chase Gentry
- Harold Trujillo of Mora County, for expertise in water issues.
- Richard Bailey of Rio Arriba County, president of Northern New Mexico College in Española
- Rachael Speegle, an operator of dispensaries in Bernalillo County
- Chief Public Defender Bennett J. Baur of Santa Fe County
- Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage
- District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies of New Mexico’s 1st Judicial District in Santa Fe County.
- Roswell police chief Phil Smith
The committee’s first public meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 10, when they will discuss draft rules for cannabis producers.
The agency announced Friday that because of ongoing public health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public will be permitted to attend only via video conference call, which will be accessible online via https://ccd.rld.state.nm.us.
“We are moving quickly and judiciously to stand up a thriving adult-use cannabis industry in New Mexico,” RLD Superintendent Linda Trujillo said in a statement. “The naming of the members of the committee today is perfect timing and ensures that this thoughtful, public group will be able to review every rule that the Cannabis Control Division puts forward.”
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