Use, sales of recreational cannabis restricted in Carlsbad, NM

An ordinance regulating recreational cannabis in Carlsbad addressed time, place and manner restrictions, said Denise Madrid-Boyea, attorney for the City of Carlsbad.

Carlsbad City Council passed the ordinance Oct. 26.

“In order to ensure the safety of the public, especially for individuals under age 21, we have enacted this ordinance to address the time, place and manner issues,” Madrid-Boyea said.

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“Carlsbad has zoning for all businesses and all residences and so we have enacted an ordinance that allows cannabis businesses in certain zones.”

Counties and municipalities across New Mexico sought ways to regulate recreational cannabis after the New Mexico Legislature passed the Cannabis Regulation Act, House Bill 2 during a special session earlier this year. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the legislation days after it passed.

Carlsbad City Attorney Denise Madrid Boyea (left) and Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway during the June 8, 2021 Carlsbad City Council meeting. Councilors approved a zone change and annexation of property near Callaway Drive and Cherry Lane.

“The City’s Planning Department, legal department, clerk’s office, police department, and utilities department have worked together to build a comprehensive ordinance intended to provide a safe and orderly framework for the recreational possession, sale, manufacture, production, cultivation, transport, and consumption of cannabis and cannabis derived products,” wrote City of Carlsbad Planning Director Jeff Patterson to councilors.

Madrid-Boyea said cannabis sales are limited to Rural Residential Districts (R-R), Commercial 1 Districts (C-1), Commercial 2 (C-2) Districts and Industrial Districts (I).

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The Rural Residential District is intended to provide for areas that will accommodate agricultural, ranching, and natural resource uses and very low-density residential uses, until such time as other development is appropriate, read City of Carlsbad zoning ordinances.

The Commercial 1 District is intended to accommodate neighborhood-scale retail, office, and customer service uses. Such uses are regulated in order to reduce adverse impacts on surrounding residential development, per zoning ordinances.

Commercial 2 District is intended to accommodate community and regional-scale retail and commercial uses. Such uses are regulated in order to be compatible with surrounding uses and existing infrastructure.

A person examining a cannabis plant.

The Industrial District is intended to accommodate heavy and/or concentrated fabrication, production, research, manufacturing and industrial uses, according to City of Carlsbad zoning ordinances.

Madrid Boyea said cannabis sales are not allowed in Residential 1 District (R-1) and Residential 2 District (R-2).

The Residential 1 District is intended to accommodate moderate density single-family residential development and to provide land-use protection for areas that develop in such a manner. There shall be a maximum of one primary residence per lot for R-1 Residential District Zoning.