The Las Cruces City Council, by a 3-4 vote at its Monday, Oct. 3, 2022 regularly scheduled meeting, turned down proposed amendments to an Ordinance that would have eliminated the 300-foot buffer between cannabis retailers and microbusiness and single-family residential zoning districts.
Cannabis uses also remain prohibited within 300 feet of schools and daycare facilities in Las Cruces.
The state of New Mexico legalized cannabis for adult recreational use with the passage of House Bill 2, which includes the Cannabis Regulation Act, in April 2021. The City then adopted modifications to Chapter 38, Zoning, of the Las Cruces Municipal Code on Sept. 7, 2021, via Ordinance 2986, to incorporate regulations related to cannabis-related uses. Retail sales of recreational cannabis began in April 2022.
During the past year, several cannabis-related businesses have established themselves within the city. Staff from the Economic Development Department, Community Development Department, and Fire Department have worked closely with the emerging cannabis industry by providing guidance for permitting, licensing, building code, fire code, zoning code, and other small business assistance.
In a presentation at Monday’s meeting, the Council was told City staff had determined that 1,081 commercially zoned city parcels were affected by the 300-foot single-family zoning buffer.
Additionally at Monday’s meeting, City Council unanimously adopted a Resolution to award a contract for film production and economic development services to Film Las Cruces. The contract includes the promotion and marketing of Las Cruces as a destination for the film production industry.
The contract, in an amount not to exceed $95,000 annually, is for an initial term through June 30, 2023. The agreement also is subject to annual renewal and approved budget appropriations.
The contract also provides for monthly and quarterly reporting to the City to document the progress being made in the film development industry.
Currently, Film Las Cruces is the only firm dedicated to the development and growth of the film industry in Las Cruces and the surrounding area. For the past seven years, Film Las Cruces has cultivated and sustained relationships with an array of film industry firms and personnel, and that has been a contributing factor in the attraction of film production to Las Cruces.