City plans hearing, vote on cannabis rules

Local jurisdictions in New Mexico are able to adopt “time, place and manner” rules regulating cannabis as long as they don’t conflict with state provisions. In this Associated Press photo, a worker walks down an aisle of juvenile cannabis plants at the Greenleaf Medical Cannabis facility in Richmond, Va. on June 17. (AP Photo)

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The Roswell City Council will conduct a public hearing and vote on proposed cannabis regulations this week.

The council will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday in Meeting Room A of the Roswell Convention Center, 912 N. Main. The meeting will be livestreamed on the city’s YouTube channel. Those wanting to participate electronically can do so through GoToMeeting virtual meeting software. By computer, tablet or smartphone, the meeting can be joined at To join by phone, call 669-224-3412 and use access code 815-060-573.

A public hearing and vote will also be conducted for a restaurant liquor license application. In regular business, the council will consider approval of several new equipment purchases, equipping new police vehicles and new software for the dispatch center.

The cannabis ordinance would add to the city code a chapter comprised largely of zoning provisions specifying where commercial cannabis sales, consumption facilities, cultivation, processing and special events can take place, as well as specific areas where they will be prohibited. It also contains articles that reiterate the state’s Cannabis Regulation Act provisions for personal possession and cultivation, as well as sections reserved for future regulations.

Local jurisdictions can adopt “time, place and manner” rules regulating cannabis so long as they do not conflict with the state provisions. The state is to begin processing cannabis producer licenses on Sept. 1, so local governments are moving to have their regulations in place by then.

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The latest version of the city’s proposed cannabis codes can be viewed in the agenda for the meeting on the city’s website. Generally, the proposed rules would prohibit cannabis related businesses in the Downtown Historic District, the Downtown Business District, the Metropolitan Redevelopment Area — also called the Historic Railroad District — and the part of the Roswell Air Center that is subject to Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

In addition, no cannabis-related businesses would be allowed within 300 feet of schools, parks, churches, and facilities for recreation, childcare, military, senior care and retirement, or medical facilities. They would also not be allowed within 300 feet of any residential district. There would also have to be at least one-quarter mile between each cannabis-related business.

The proposed rules would create a Commercial Cannabis Floating Zone (CCAN) within the Community Commercial Zone, or C-2 zone, and an Industrial Cannabis Floating Zone (ICAN) within the city’s Heavy Industrial, or I-2, zone.

The C-2 zone is largely comprised of areas along Main and Second streets as well as other areas interspersed throughout the city. The I-2 zone is mostly comprised of the Roswell Air Center that is not under FAA regulations. Areas of the southwest part of town and a small area in central Roswell east of Main Street are also zoned I-2.

The floating zones would be a new type of zoning for Roswell. The CCAN or ICAN zoning would be applied to specific parcels if the application shows the property meets the requirements and it receives city council approval.

The other public hearing and vote will be to consider a restaurant liquor license for Backdraft Barbecue, 300 and 301 N. Railroad Avenue. The application has been granted preliminary approval by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division

Other items for the council’s consideration on the agenda include the following:

• Approval of Helen Wakefield to the Commission on Aging.

• A $125,066 purchase of emergency call-taking software, training and certification of dispatchers as emergency medical dispatchers. The expense will be reimbursed by the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration Local Government Division Enhanced 911 Act Grant Program.

• Purchase orders for pavement maintenance on North Atkinson Avenue from College Boulevard to Tierra Berrenda Drive and East College Boulevard from Main Street to Atkinson Avenue. The $458,920 North Atkinson project would be paid completely by the city while the $352,499 East College Boulevard project would be 50% funded by the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

• Approval of the scope of work for a request for proposals to create a pool of temporary employment services for the city.

• Equipping 10 new Dodge Pickup Trucks purchased by the city in July for patrol vehicles for the Roswell Police Department. Adding emergency lights, sirens, control boxes and other equipment is estimated at $105,123.

• The $446,726 purchase of a John Deere excavator, loader and two backhoes for the Water Maintenance Department.

• A $552,410 purchase of a new Caterpillar scraper to replace one damaged in a rollover wreck at the landfill. Insurance is expected to cover $355,000 of the total $907,410 cost. The city’s share will come from the Sold Waste Fund’s cash balance of $5.9 million.

• Awarding a $627,131 bid from RoofCare of Las Cruces for new roofs on buildings at the Roswell Test Facility.

The council will also hear a report from Shawn Powell, president of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, regarding fall enrollment and scholarships.

A closed session to discuss attorney-client privilege relating to pending litigation involving the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department is also scheduled.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or

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