New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham: Agreements Ensuring Pueblos Benefit From Cannabis Industry

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Pueblo of Picuris Gov. Craig Quanchello and Pueblo of Pojoaque Gov. Jenelle Roybal announced they had signed two historic intergovernmental agreements that support the pueblos (small towns) taking part in the recreational cannabis industry, driving economic development and setting guidelines for safe production and sale of cannabis while preventing federal enforcement on their tribal lands.

“The economic opportunities provided by the recreational and medical cannabis industries are truly game-changing, and sovereign tribal nations should benefit alongside the state,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “With these agreements, the Pueblo of Pojoaque and the Pueblo of Picuris will benefit from this exciting new industry, which is projected to bring $300 million in sales annually and create 11,000 jobs in New Mexico.”

The Cannabis Regulation Act, passed by the Legislature and signed by  Grisham in 2021, provides for the legal possession, production and sale of adult-use cannabis in New Mexico. Sales will begin on April 1. Intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) established through the Act, enable tribal communities to participate in the cannabis industry in ways that support community health and public safety while maximizing cross-jurisdiction market opportunities.

“I am pleased that the intergovernmental agreement respects the Pueblo’s sovereignty,” said Picuris Governor Craig Quanchello. “This creates a meaningful opportunity for the Pueblo to engage in well-regulated and coordinated legal cannabis markets for the benefit and protection of our community, including a framework for ongoing collaboration with the State to protect our shared interests.”

Pojoaque Governor Jenelle Roybal also praised the IGA as an opportunity to create a robust regulatory environment. “Cannabis is an exciting new opportunity to diversify our economic development, and revenues from a Pueblo cannabis enterprise will support tribal governmental programs and the surrounding community.”

Linda M. Trujillo, superintendent of the Regulation and Licensing Department, which houses the Cannabis Control Division said cooperation is key to building a successful adult-use cannabis industry and maintain a nationally recognized medical cannabis program.

With cannabis still illegal under federal law, IGAs prevent federal law enforcement action on tribal lands where communities want to participate in the adult-use market in New Mexico.

“New Mexico, the Pueblo of Picuris, and the Pueblo of Pojoaque are establishing a new, positive way forward together,” Lujan Grisham said.

“Rather than just establishing lines and limits, then each community going its own way, these agreements create real partnerships that provide the framework to meet and discuss in detail the challenges and opportunities we face together in New Mexico.”

Photo by Scott Elkins on Unsplash

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