Marijuana growing in Corrales for personal use and commercial production will come under new rules as a probable outcome at the August 17 Village Council meeting. Ordinance 21-06 is the proposed municipal law to bring the Village of Corrales into compliance with the State of New Mexico’s Cannabis Regulation Act that took effect July 1. Commercial production of marijuana, or cannabis, has been under way in Corrales for more than five years for use in medical treatments, as permitted by the N.M. Legislature’s passage of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. State permits to grow and sell medical marijuana have been issued in increasing numbers as the number of patients being treated with prescription cannabis has soared.

As widely predicted, the N.M. Legislature moved ahead to legalize recreational marijuana in early 2021; the governor signed the Cannabis Regulation Act in April 2021. Among the changes: local governments such as the Village of Corrales cannot set civil or criminal penalties for the possession or use of cannabis or products made with it. That state law also prevents the Village from prosecuting individuals who grow their own marijuana as long as the crop is limited to six plants per person or 12 plants per household without a permit or any other local regulation. State law opens up normal retail sales of recreational marijuana under certain restrictions beginning April 1, 2022. Corrales’ Ordinance 21-06 primarily addresses those restrictions for retail sales and where and how commercial growers can operate. Much of the debate here tracks earlier controversies about growing cannabis as “intensive agriculture” operations. Those earlier concerns focused on odors, night time light pollution and water use.

The preamble statements of the proposed ordinance capture residents’ concerns arising from Corrales’ most recent and lucrative cash crop. “Whereas, the Village of Corrales Comprehensive Land Use Plan (2009) currently addresses the growth of cannabis pursuant to medical marijuana grown under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, and; Whereas, the State of New Mexico passed the Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA) in April of 2021, providing for the legal use of cannabis and cannabis products by all individuals over the age of 21, and; Whereas, the Village of Corrales anticipates an increased volume of cannabis-related activity within village limits pursuant to the CRA, and; Whereas, the Village Code provides criminal and civil penalties for cannabis production and use which conflict with the new State Statute and must be repealed, and; Whereas, New Mexico State Statute under §26-2C-12 directs that local jurisdictions may “adopt time, place and manner rules that do not conflict with the Cannabis Regulation Act or the Dee Johnson Clean Indoor Air Act [Chapter 24, Article 16 NMSA 1978], including rules that reasonably limit density of licenses and operating times consistent with neighborhood uses,” and;

Whereas, the Village finds it necessary to promulgate regulations which reasonably limit the outdoor production of cannabis and the manufacture of cannabis products to prevent nuisances such as noxious odors, and; Whereas, the Village finds that high-yield crop raising, often referred to as “intensive agriculture,” is a common practice with cannabis production and has potential adverse impacts, such as increased discharge of pollutants and light or odiferous nuisances, on the Village if not properly regulated; and, Whereas, as per Village Code Section 18-28 (a) “any use not classified as a permissive use or a use by review within a particular zone is hereby prohibited from that zone”.

“Now therefore be it ordained that the following amendments to the zoning ordinance shall be adopted to provide regulations for the growth, manufacture, and sale of cannabis and cannabis- derived products pursuant to the New Mexico Cannabis Regulation Act of the Village of Corrales Comprehensive Plan and the zoning ordinances, shall be amended and revised” to accommodate the recent changes in state law regarding cannabis production and sale. The ordinance adds new material related to nuisances, as follows.

Section 14-116. Environmental Nuisances. Added a new Section to the Nuisance Ordinance
A. Any owner or occupant planting or allowing to grow weeds and noxious vegetable growth on the owner's or occupant's lot or parcel of ground, or on the sidewalks and lawn-strips or land areas abutting such lot or parcel of ground. This shall not include any activity reasonably related to a permissive agricultural use as established in 18-33 through 18-38. Agricultural uses when reasonably conducted pursuant to common agricultural practices shall not constitute a Nuisance. An agricultural use negligently or illegally performed may constitute a Nuisance.
B. All unnecessary or unauthorized noises and annoying vibrations, including animal noise, excepting those reasonably related to permissive uses under 18-33 through 18-38.
C. All disagreeable or obnoxious odors and stenches, as well as the conditions, substances or other causes which give rise to the emission or generation of such odors and stenches, except those reasonably related to permissive uses under 18-33 through 18-38.
D. The intentional application or unintentional drifting of pesticides, herbicides, other biocides, fertilizers, or other chemicals onto neighboring property.
Section 18-29. Definitions. Amended as follows:
Greenhouse means a completely enclosed structure whose structural members are made of pre-formed, rigid construction materials. Greenhouse also means an accessory structure, with transparent or translucent roof and/or wall panels intended for the raising of plants or crops.
Integrated cannabis microbusiness shall have the same definition as set forth in Section 26-2C-2(GG) of the Cannabis Regulation Act.
Intensive agriculture means any agricultural activities, including those conducted in greenhouses, which involve raising crops on a land-intensive basis and includes activities which require heightened utilization of pesticides, concentrated fertilizers, and water usage from irrigation.
Section 18-33. - A-1 - Agricultural and rural residential zone.
The following regulations shall apply to the A-1 - Agricultural and rural residential zone:
(1) Purpose and intent. The purpose of this zone is to maintain a rural and open space character of lands within the Village with low density residential and agricultural development.
(2) Permissive uses. Any of the following permissive uses are allowed in the A-1 zone:
a. One single-family dwelling unit per lot (permit required, see Section 18-45(a)).
b. One single-family manufactured house per lot (permit required, see Section 18-45(a)).
c. One single-family mobile home dwelling unit per lot (permit required, see Section 18-45(a)).
d. Raising crops; provided, however, that the cultivation, intentional growth, manufacture and distribution of cannabis and cannabis-derived products, except for personal production of cannabis, are prohibited in the A-1 zone.
d. Agricultural uses, including the planting, growing and harvesting of crops for consumption, provided that any cannabis-related agriculture is conducted in compliance with the Cannabis Regulation Act and other applicable state law, and:
1. Any diseased, dead, or dying agricultural products be disposed of promptly and appropriately,
2. Agricultural activities reasonably conducted pursuant to common agricultural practices on the property do not create a nuisance as set forth in Sections 14-71 through 14-116.
3. Greenhouses greater than 120 square feet require evidence of State engineer's approval of the well and water usage for the quantity and type of crop(s) to be raised.
(7) Setback requirements. Front setbacks shall be no less than twenty-five (25) feet. Other setbacks shall be no less than ten (10) feet, except in the case of intensive agriculture, in which all setbacks shall be no less than twenty-five (25) feet.

d. Agricultural uses, including the planting, growing and harvesting of crops for consumption, provided that any cannabis-related agriculture is conducted in compliance with the Cannabis Regulation Act and other applicable state law, and:
1. Any diseased, dead, or dying agricultural products be disposed of promptly and appropriately,
2. Agricultural activities reasonably conducted pursuant to common agricultural practices on the property do not create a nuisance as set forth in Sections 14-71 through 14-116.
3. Greenhouses greater than 120 square feet require evidence of State engineer's approval of the well and water usage for the quantity and type of crop(s) to be raised.
Section 18-35. - H - Historical area zone.
The following regulations shall apply to the H - Historical area zone:
(1) Purpose and intent. The H zone preserves and promotes the educational, cultural and general welfare of the public through preservation and protection of the traditional architectural character of historic Corrales.
(2) Permissive uses. Any of the following permissive uses are allowed in the H zone:
a. One single-family dwelling unit per lot (permit required, see Section 18-45(a)).
b. Agricultural uses; provided, however, that the cultivation, intentional growth, manufacture and distribution of cannabis and cannabis-derived products, except for personal production of cannabis as permitted by the Cannabis Regulation Act, is prohibited in the H zone.
Section 18-37. - C - Neighborhood commercial zone.
The following regulations shall apply in the C - Neighborhood commercial zone:
(1) Purpose and intent. To provide for the development of local business, commercial and personal service activities within the Village, two areas exist:
a. The Corrales Road Commercial Area (CRCA) and
b. The Neighborhood Commercial and Office District (NCOD).
All proposed development shall be integrated with existing, adjoining land uses and shall be compatible with the existing character of the surrounding area.
(2) Lot dimensions and location.
a. For the CRCA:
1. All lots shall be contiguous to Corrales Road having frontage on Corrales Road;
2. All lots shall be located on the east side of Corrales Road between East Meadowlark Lane on the south and Wagner Lane on the north, and on the west side of Corrales Road between West Meadowlark Lane on the south and Old Church Road on the north; and shall also include the lots south of and immediately adjacent to Meadowlark Lane on each side of Corrales Road
3. The depth of commercial zoning shall be limited to 350 feet from Corrales Road on each side, measured perpendicular to the right-of-way. No variance shall be allowed from this provision;
4. For any lot or portion of a lot zoned commercial prior to the date of the enactment of the ordinance from which this article derives, the maximum depth east and west of Corrales Road shall be the limits of the existing commercially zoned boundaries of the lot.
b. For the NCOD, all lots shall be totally within the Neighborhood Commercial and Office District as defined in the Far Northwest Sector Plan Addendum to the Northwest Sector Plan, Ordinance No. 342, dated February 12, 2002, as amended.
c. For other properties with C zoning designation granted prior to adoption of this ordinance, the maximum lot dimension shall be the limits of the existing commercially zoned boundaries of the lot. 

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(3) Permissive uses. The following permissive uses shall be allowed in this zone upon the approval of a site development plan by the Commission:
a. One single-family dwelling unit per lot (permit required, see Section 18-45(a)).
b. One single-family manufactured house per lot (permit required, see Section 18-45(a)).
c. One single-family mobile home dwelling unit per lot (permit required, see Section 18-45(a))
d. Raising crops. Agricultural uses, including the planting, growing and harvesting of crops for consumption, provided that any cannabis-related agriculture is conducted in compliance with the Cannabis Regulation Act and other applicable state law, and:
1. Any diseased, dead, or dying agricultural products be disposed of promptly and appropriately,
2. Agricultural activities reasonably conducted pursuant to common agricultural practices on the property do not create a nuisance as set forth in Sections 14-71 through 14-116.
3. Greenhouses greater than 120 square feet require evidence of State engineer's approval of the well and water usage for the quantity and type of crop(s) to be raised.

[The ordinance adds “Cannabis retailers” to the list of permissive uses in ther Neighborhood Commercial, C-zone, areas among some of the others listed.
1. Antiques.
2. Bicycle shops.
3. Books.
4. Cannabis retailers.
4. 5. Clothing.
5. 6. Flowers and plants.
6. 7. Furniture.
7. 8. Gifts.
8. 9. Jewelry.
9. 10. Livestock field, tack and accessories.
11. Pet shops.
12. Rugs.
13. Sporting goods stores.

(4) Uses by review. The following uses are allowed in the C zone district only upon the approval of a site development plan by the Commission:
a. Group homes having a maximum capacity and occupancy of no more than eight (8) patients or residents residing on the premises.
b. The applicant must provide a traffic engineering analysis showing to the satisfaction of the Village Engineer that the operation as proposed will not adversely affect the public safety either because of increased traffic or on street parking.
c. Supervised outpatient treatment facility:
1. A supervised outpatient treatment facility shall provide counseling and rehabilitative therapies for patients who do not reside on the premises.
2. At the time of application for approval as a Use by Review, the owner must demonstrate compliance with all State of New Mexico licensures for the counseling and/or therapies to be provided on the premises of the supervised outpatient treatment facility.
3. A supervised outpatient treatment facility may not be located closer than 300 feet to an educational or recreational use (nearest lot boundary) primarily serving children.
d. Cannabis manufacturing or cannabis-derived product manufacturing. Applicant must provide all requirements as set forth in Subsection 18-45(d) pursuant to Special Use Permits within the Village of Corrales.
e. Cannabis consumption areas. Applicant must provide all requirements as set forth in Subsection 18- 45(d) pursuant to Special Use Permits within the Village and be located on the same premises as a licensed cannabis retailer in a standalone building, unless otherwise permitted in accordance with the Cannabis Regulation Act. No smoking shall be permitted outdoors.
Section 18-45 shall be amended to create a new subsection, (h), providing for permit procedures pursuant to cannabis related activity.
(h) Cannabis-related activities, approval and permit required.
For purposes of this section, all measurements for the purpose of determining the location of a cannabis retail establishment, cannabis consumption area, or cannabis courier in relation to schools or daycare centers shall be the shortest direct line measurement between the actual limits of the real property of the school or daycare center and the actual limits of the real property of the proposed cannabis establishment, cannabis consumption area, or cannabis courier.

(1) No person(s) or entity shall engage in the production, manufacture, or sale of cannabis or cannabis products cannabis permit issued by the Village of Corrales, permitting the specific cannabis-related activity or activities sought to be permitted on the premises. Cannabis permits are issued to the applicant(s) and are not assignable or transferable. Compliance with this section does not alleviate the applicant(s) from requiring approval from the Planning Administrator for all other applicable sections of 18-45.

(2) Application and fee. Anyone wishing to conduct cannabis-related activity must submit a completed application. The application shall be returned to the Administrator accompanied by the appropriate application fee for the use(s) to be permitted, and must show, at a minimum:
(a) the cannabis-related activity or activities are appropriately licensed by the State Regulation and Licensing Department pursuant to the Cannabis Regulation Act.
(b) the cannabis retailer, cannabis consumption area, or cannabis courier facility to be permitted may not be located within 300 feet of a school or daycare center in existence at the time a permit was sought.
(c) the cannabis retailer and cannabis consumption area seeking a permit may not be located within 200 feet of another cannabis retailer or cannabis consumption area in existence at the time a permit was sought.
(d) a floorplan, including all greenhouse(s) proposed for the growth of cannabis and any accessory structure(s) located on the premises.
(e) valid proof of identity of the person(s) seeking the permit, indicating they are at least 21 years of age.
(f) proof of ownership or legal occupancy of the premises to be permitted, including an affidavit from the owner of the property that the applicant has permission to conduct cannabis- related activity on the premises if the property is not owned by the applicant.
(g) a valid New Mexico gross receipts tax number
(h) the name, mailing address, email address, and contact phone numbers (including 24- hour emergency contact numbers) of the owner of the property for which the permit will be issued.
(i) The name, mailing address, email address, and contact phone numbers (including 24- hour emergency contact numbers) of the applicant, if different than the owner of the property. (j) all other legal requirements as provided for according to the regulations set forth by
the Regulation and Licensing Division pertaining to cannabis and cannabis-related activity

(3) Compliance with 18-45(a) and 18-45(b) required. Any cannabis establishment seeking to construct or occupy a building or structure requiring a site development plan pursuant to 18-45(a)-(b) of the Village Code must provide documentation of Site Plan approval at the time of permit application.
(a) Greenhouses or other structures incidental to the production of cannabis or cannabis- derived products shall be equipped with an activated carbon HVAC filtration system sized to effectively abate odor emissions.
(b) Applicants must provide a valid permit from the Office of the State Engineer at the time of application certifying access to water rights sufficient to conduct the activity or activities for which the Village permit is sought.
Section 24-23 shall be repealed in its entirety:
Controlled substance: [possession of marijuana prohibited]; less and than eight ounces
(a)It is unlawful for any person, while in the Village of Corrales, to intentionally possess a controlled substance, unless the substance was obtained pursuant to a valid prescription or order of a licensed medical professional while acting in the course of his/her professional practice or except as otherwise authorized by the Controlled Substance Act, NMSA 1978, Chapter 30, Article 31 Sections 1 through 42 (b)Any person who violates this section with respect to:(1)More than two ounces but up to and including eight ounces of marijuana is, for the first offense, guilty of a petty misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50) or more than one hundred dollars ($100) and imprisonment for not more than fifteen days and for the second and subsequent offenses, guilty of a petty misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) or more than five hundred dollars ($500) or by imprisonment for not more than ninety days, or both.(2)More than eight ounces of marijuana is guilty of a petty misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) or more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by imprisonment of not more than ninety (90) days, or both.(c)Exceptions. The foregoing provisions do not apply to conduct which is declared to be lawful under Section 26-2B-4 of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, nor to the cultivation or testing of hemp and hemp products as allowed by applicable law.” In a sense, Village officials have anticipated the changes now being implemented for more than five years. In 2017, the Village invited state regulators to explain what lay ahead. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXVI No.17 November 11, 2017 “Marijuana Farm Rules.”)

Back then, well before legalizing marijuana, the controvesy was over medical marijuana cultivation and sale and what kind of ordinance should be enacted to regulate it. Three officials from the N.M. Department of Health addressed a council-P&Z work-study session October 24, 2017. A month earlier the Village Council passed a 90-day moratorium on new applications from medical cannabis growers. The resulting law did not intend to ban marijuana for medical use outright, but would indicate what areas of the community might be appropriate for that use. Most emphasis was setting industry “best practices” for growing and processing marijuana without creating nuisances or disturbances for residents. At the work-study session, the Health Department’s (DOH) public information officer, Kenny Vigil clarified that the agency’s rules did not require any particular height for perimeter fences around cannabis sites, nor that the plants must be grown indoors. “We approved an outdoor grow earlier this year,” Vigil said in 2017. At that time, a total of 14,500 licensed marijuana plants were being grown around the state. The product was sold at 60 authorized dispensaries. Between 200 and 600 applications were received every day, he reported. New Mexico then had approximately 49,000 medical cannabis users, about half of whom were registered as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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