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COMMISSION MOVES ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA

 

December 14, 2018

At 12/11 Aztec Commission Meeting Apd Capt. Morris Recognizes Good Samaritan Mark White For Rendering Aid And Comfort To A Gun-Shot Victim At Riverside Park.

By Jacque Ritchie, TALON

On Tuesday, Aztec City Commission voted 4-0 to move forward with the process that will ultimately allow medical marijuana dispensaries in town. The commission passed an "Intent to Adopt Ordinance 2018-487" measure and will allow about 45 days for public comment before a final vote is held at a future meeting.

Community Development Director Steven Saavedra explained, "We have no medical marijuana zoning...there are no existing site laws about where such businesses should go...If and when someone comes and wants to expand or open a new one...we are trying to be proactive." Mayor Victor Snover said, "It is something I have been a proponent of for many months." Snover added, "I don't want to get into the weeds on this...It's a zoning issue, I want to leave it at that. We are just kind of getting in line as we try to diversify our economy." Although the meeting was well attended when Mayor Snover asked, no one offered comment on the issue.

City Of Aztec Mayor Victor Snover (R); AMSD Superintendent Kirk Carpenter And Mccoy Principal Tatia Fernandez Recognize Mccoy Elementary 3Rd Grade Teacher Cynthia Gustamantes For Taking The Golden Apple.

Medical marijuana has been legal in New Mexico since 2007. Commissioner Rosalyn Fry said, "I was surprised it hasn't already been done. I think it is inevitable, I think we need something on the books." Commissioner Sherri Sipes commented, "I know there is great benefit to medical marijuana, but I would have appreciated a workshop, or a little heads-up that this was coming." Sipes expressed concern that medical cards were too easy to get, and asked if "anyone could get approved for a business license."

City Attorney Nicci Unsicker stepped in saying she had done some research on the issue and assured Sipes and the audience, that prospective dispensary owners are thoroughly screened at the state level, "the regulations are extremely exhaustive." Sipes ultimately voted for the measure, which passed 4-0. Commissioner Austin Randall was not present at Tuesday's meeting and did not vote. To contact local lawmakers on this or any other issue go to aztecnm.gov.

 

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