The Santa Fe Planning Commission on Thursday offered the first glimpse at proposed regulations for recreational cannabis within city limits.

Its recommendations include:

  • A minimum buffer of 300 to 600 feet for cannabis retailers in the city. It is also examining whether other cannabis businesses should have similar buffers.

Operating hours would be between 7 a.m. and midnight.

  • Cannabis businesses would be no closer than 300 feet from a school.
  • A special-use permit would be required for all outdoor commercial growing operations; all large growing operations; and all growing operations in C-2, business and industrial park districts.

On Thursday, Planning Secretary Janet Clow pointed out that Albuquerque enacted a one-year moratorium on any retail cannabis business in its Old Town District.

She said she was in favor of a similar moratorium for downtown Santa Fe to protect its character, but the proposal lacked support.

“I do think these new businesses will follow the money, and the money is going to be downtown,” Clow said.

By placing a buffer around downtown, the commission might push cannabis businesses into the city’s residential areas, Commissioner Pilar Faulkner said.

“We didn’t want one district to have the lion’s share in a positive way or the lion’s share in a negative way,” Faulkner said.

The commission did not vote Thursday on the proposed regulations.

The state Regulation and Licensing Department is asking municipalities to craft ordinances regulating recreational cannabis by Sept. 1, when it intends to start accepting and approving producer licenses.

Cities and counties cannot ban cannabis, but they can regulate density and hours of operation.

Santa Fe County approved its first set of cannabis ordinances last week.

(1) comment

Stefanie Beninato

We do not have minimum buffers for bars or places that sell alcohol so why should there be one for cannabis dispensers? What other businesses are required to get special permits in commercial zones? And the whole stay 300 ft from schools, churches etc is constantly waived by the city council who now hires a hearing officer to decide the waiver and the council adopts those recommendations--more taxpayer money for what is a determined outcome. My objection is that the PC wants to treat cannabis different than alcohol and different from other businesses. I can see requiring large (please define) growing operations perhaps needing a special permit or better requirements to safeguard the crop from theft and possibly because of the odor.

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