Takeaways from Eddy County’s proposed recreational cannabis ordinance

Concerns over the Cannabis Regulation Act passed during a special session of the 2021 New Mexico Legislature, prompted Eddy County to act.

A public hearing and discussion of an ordinance regulating medical and recreational cannabis in the unincorporated areas of Eddy County is scheduled for the Eddy County Board of County Commissioners Oct. 5.

Following that, a second public hearing and discussion for a business licensing ordinance for cannabis retailers will take place.

More:Local governments grapple with cannabis ordinances

What’s in the cannabis ordinance?

The New Mexico Legislature passed the Cannabis Regulation Act or House Bill 2 during a special session in March. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the legislation in April.

The bill allows New Mexicans to grow marijuana at home for personal use. An individual can have no more than six plants or up to 12 for a household if more than one adult lives there. Recreational cannabis will only be legal for sale to those 21 years and older. Purchases would be limited to 2 ounces of marijuana.

In the ordinance, Eddy County Commissioners stated the need to pass the ordinance to “promote the public health, safety and welfare to enact provisions regulating the used of cannabis in Eddy County.”

A person examining a cannabis plant outdoors.

The ordinance stated cannabis cultivation, production and manufacturing creates strong odors and can involve the use of significant amounts of energy and water.

“And requires security and other measures to reduce the risk of theft or other diversion to the illegal cannabis market, including possession and use by persons under the age of 21,” read the proposal.

The Eddy County ordinance stated cannabis was an intoxicating drug and it would be appropriate to regulate the hours when cannabis products may be sold and the areas in which cannabis products may be consumed.