Proposed Zoning Regulations for Cannabis Related Land Uses

Information and ability to provide comments regarding Zoning Regulations for Cannabis Related Uses.

The City Council, the City of Albuquerque’s ultimate Land Use, Planning and Zoning authority, is currently considering zoning regulations on cannabis-related land uses within the city’s zoning framework: The Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO). The IDO is the city’s regulatory document governing land development and use of property.

The IDO was updated in 2019 to address possible future cannabis businesses during a time when the New Mexico Legislature was having advanced discussion about legalizing a market for cannabis, following the lead of other States, like Colorado.  You can read more about how the IDO presently regulates cannabis facilities at the bottom of this page.

While the IDO took steps in 2019 in anticipation of possible, future legalization, that day is now here.  The New Mexico Legislature enacted House Bill 2 (The Cannabis Regulation Act), at a special session of the state legislature in early 2021.  The City Council is now considering updates to the IDO in response to that Act.  While the State Legislature established a licensing and industry structure through the Cannabis Regulation Act, it is the job of local government to determine where it would be most appropriate for those licenses and that industry to operate within the City, and under what limitations to best preserve the character of special places and ensure compatibility with surrounding areas and community goals. 

Although the businesses contemplated within the Cannabis Regulation Act will not come online until at least later this year or early next, the City’s IDO structure directs that the Council update its regulations only once per year and that process is occurring now.  Even beyond its response to cannabis, the Council is considering several time sensitive matters within the IDO that set the stage for a need to act on its annual update this month – including as it relates cannabis if it is to be of any effect in advance of the start of cannabis business operations in the City.

The City Council has access to many tools through zoning regulations to accomplish community goals relating to cannabis uses. The provisions the City Council will be considering bridge the gap between a paper license issued by the State, and the physical establishments that will operate in the City.  They relate to the density of facilities (i.e., how many facilities are within proximity of one another), distance separation requirements from perceived sensitive land uses such as schools and daycares, limitations on signage and operating hours, and how zoning regulations can ensure equitable and fair access to economic opportunities for all communities in the City, among others.

The City Council will hold a Special Council Meeting on June 17th that will focus solely on amendments to the IDO, including amendments related to cannabis uses. Several draft amendments to the IDO relating to cannabis uses have been prepared for possible consideration on June 17th.  They can be found in a packet here:

The Special City Council Meeting on June 17th 2021 will begin at 3:00 p.m. and will be held via the Zoom platform. Public comment will be taken at this meeting. Instructions on how to access the meeting and/or provide public comment will be posted here on Legistar no later than Monday, June 14th at 3:00 p.m. Updated amendments will also be posted to this webpage as they become available leading up to the meeting start time.  

Background

Today, the IDO differentiates between three different cannabis-related land uses: Cannabis Retail, Cannabis Cultivation, and Cannabis-Infused Products Manufacturing. Those three distinct uses are defined today in the IDO (Section 7-1, Page 512).

The IDO allows these three uses in the following zones, either as a permissive use or a permissive accessory use. To access the official Zoning Map of the City, where you can identify the zoning district on any individual parcels, please go here: Zoning Map

Cannabis Retail – MX-L, MX-M, MX-H, NR-C, NR-BP, NR-LM, and NR-GM
Cannabis Cultivation Facility – NR-C, NR-BP, NR-LM, and NR-GM
Cannabis-infused Products Manufacturing - NR-C, NR-BP, NR-LM, and NR-GM

Each of the three uses have use-specific standards that may limit the siting of such uses in a given area. Please see the following pages of the published IDO to read further on the use-specific standards:

Cannabis retail: Page 172
Cannabis Cultivation Facility: Page 181
Cannabis-Infused Products Manufacturing: Page 181

Get Involved!

To provide feedback, input, or suggestions on the proposed amendments or to propose new regulations for Councilors to consider, please fill out the following form. Your message will be distributed to all Councilors and Council planning staff.

If you have questions about the amendment packet or the IDO, please reach out to Council Planning Staff:

Petra Morris, Council Planning Manager: [email protected] / 505-768-3161
Shanna Schultz, Council Senior Planner: [email protected] / 505-768-3185