Several Silver City companies that exist already within the cannabis market are wanting ahead to the potential legalization of leisure marijuana in New Mexico, and see alternatives to increase their current operations.
After House Bill 12 handed a state House committee Monday, eyes are on its transfer by the legislative course of. Three different payments that might legalize leisure use of cannabis additionally had been launched alongside HB 12 — considered one of which was tabled in the identical committee that HB 12 superior by.
“For far too many years, this has been illegal, and the only people that benefited from it were either cartels or big corporations,” mentioned Trent Bohl, proprietor of Smokey Joe’s, a smoke store that additionally sells hemp and CBD merchandise. “This is the first time that we are looking at making this plant legal.”
Bohl beforehand opened a medical marijuana dispensary on Hudson Street, importing his flowers from Albuquerque. However, on the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he made the choice to shut the store, since staffing had been an issue for him even previous to the pandemic restrictions. He additionally felt the enterprise was “cumbersome,” since he didn’t have any possession of the product he was promoting.
“I’ve seen this game from a growing aspect, from a retailing aspect, a licensing aspect and as a consumer — what did it do for me,” Bohl mentioned. “And for myself — now 150 pounds and no prescriptions for a plant I can grow in my backyard [under one state proposal], and I can control the quality — is amazing.”
He mentioned that he initially moved to Silver City from Utah for the medical marijuana program within the state, which he mentioned finally allowed him to drop pounds and cease his reliance on prescription drugs.
As for the placement that he nonetheless owns on Hudson Street, if leisure use of cannabis is legalized in New Mexico, he needs to companion with Silver City and Grant County growers — resembling High Lonesome Hemp — to promote high-quality merchandise that might permit him to compete in a doubtlessly oversaturated market.
“The biggest thing that I’ve seen is that the big guys can’t compete with boutique quality,” Bohl mentioned. “So the big guys are always going to be there — you’re always going to have a Pepsi, you’re always going to have a Coca-Cola, you’re always going to have a Bud Light — but it’s those microbrews that the connoisseurs crave.”
Grant County-based High Lonesome Hemp is at the moment specializing in smokables, based on house owners and growers Jeffrey Castillo and Loretta Marrufo. However, they’ve plans to increase into the manufactured items market — producing edibles, tinctures and topicals — in addition to into marijuana merchandise as soon as that turns into a authorized avenue.
“I believe that we can be virtually integrated between both licenses, and still do the industrial hemp program — bringing in high-quality CBD flowers to the recreational market that way,” Castillo mentioned. “To add to that, I don’t think there are many negative effects of [the legislation] passing toward us hemp farmers. We actually think of it as pluses, because it would be nice to continue to do both or what is most profitable at the end of the day.”
While each Castillo and Marrufo see positives in HB 12, additionally they see the way it might be improved upon to higher assist smaller operations like theirs, versus already commercialized efforts which have come from the legalization of leisure marijuana in different states.
“As they create these laws, small farmers want to be included or considered, because there is a danger for them to sort of favor larger commercial producers,” Marrufo mentioned. “Small farmers need a voice at the table as far as fees. … They need to keep in mind that we are not millionaires. We have smaller budgets, we have smaller farms, and really, we would be the backbone of the industry as a collective.”
One of the ways in which they really feel the enjoying discipline might be leveled is thru limits on numbers of crops. As the invoice is at the moment written, microbusinesses are allowed not more than 99 crops, whereas commercialized operations haven’t any limits.
“Unlimited — what we believe will do to the industry is oversaturate it, and drive the market so far down that us little guys would be able to sell at retail prices,” Castillo mentioned.
While Bohl does suppose there’s a place for each smaller farms and extra commercialized operations to compete within the leisure marijuana market, he mentioned that he’s involved when “the big players work hard to legislate against the small players.”
However, he sees pending legalization as an total constructive for the county’s economic system and the well being of its residents.
Makayla Grijalva could also be reached at [email protected] lypress.com.