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Elijah Spicer weighs cannabis stalks during a harvest Wednesday at Ultra Health’s growing facility in Bernalillo. Ultra Health has medical cannabis production down to a science, growing 27 varieties in 12 hoop houses on a revolving basis so employees can harvest fresh product weekly. Emily Kaltenbach, a state director of the national Drug Policy Alliance, says municipalities could develop their own funds to help local low-income residents and ethnic minorities break into the recreational marijuana business. But that is not likely to happen for at least another year, she says, which means in the interim, bigger and more established businesses such as Ultra Health ‘will have a leg up’ in the field.

Daniel Gonzales has been a medical cannabis patient in New Mexico for about five years, and he’s been smoking marijuana “since God knows when.”

The 35-year-old San Juan County resident thinks it’s high time New Mexico legalized the drug.

He’s looking forward to Tuesday — the day New Mexico residents 21 and over can legally possess, use and grow recreational cannabis. Under the state’s Medical Cannabis Program, he is limited to growing four mature plants, while the law that takes effect Tuesday will allow each adult to grow six plants — or up to 12 in a household with more than one adult.

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Selvyan Jenkins, right, and Daniel Cummings pull stray foliage off cannabis buds for a better quality product during Wednesday’s harvesting at Ultra Health’s Bernalillo facility.

General Assignment Reporter

Robert Nott has covered education and youth issues for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is assigned to The New Mexican's city desk where he covers a general assignment beat.