Eddy County approves cannabis regulations for unincorporated areas

Eddy County’s Board of County Commissioners passed an amended ordinance regulating medical and recreational cannabis establishments in the county’s unincorporated areas Nov. 16.

Commissioners voted 4-1 to add a distance of 300 feet between residences and cannabis operations in areas outside of Carlsbad, Loving, Hope and Artesia.

District 5 Commissioner Sarah Cordova voted against the ordinance as amended.

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“I think it’s important to protect the property values of anybody in Eddy County,” said District 4 Commissioner Steve McCutcheon.

The ordinance regulates recreational and medical establishments, other cannabis businesses and production of cannabis and cannabis products as required by the Cannabis Regulation Act. Potential cannabis business owners, under the ordinance, must seek a permit from the Community Services Department.

The New Mexico Legislature passed House Bill 2 (HB-2), the Cannabis Regulation Act, during a special session earlier this year. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the legislation in April.

Libby Smith speaks during a public hearing on a recreational and medical cannabis ordinance in unincorporated areas of Eddy County on Nov. 16, 2021 in Carlsbad.

Eddy County’s Planning and Development Advisory Committee adjusted the original ordinance Oct. 20 after county commissioners directed staff to clarify wording and make other adjustments at an Oct. 5 meeting, wrote Eddy County Community Services Assistant Director Steve McCrosskey in a memo to commissioners.

“I think the planning and development group took the instruction from the commission back and worked it again. Some of the modifications that wound up in the ordinance weren’t exactly in alignment with comments and instructions from the commission,” said Eddy County Manager Allen Davis.

He said the ordinance mirrored state law.

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