New Mexico Governor, Pueblos announce signing of historic intergovernmental agreements on cannabis
SANTA FE, NM (STL.News) Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Pueblo of Picuris Gov. Craig Quanchello and Pueblo of Pojoaque Gov. Jenelle Roybal on Friday announced the signing of two historic intergovernmental agreements that support the pueblos taking part in the recreational cannabis industry, driving economic development and setting guidelines for the safe production and sale of cannabis while preventing federal enforcement on their tribal lands.
“The economic opportunities provided by the recreational and medical cannabis industries are truly game-changing, and sovereign tribal nations should benefit alongside the state,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “With these agreements, the Pueblo of Pojoaque and the Pueblo of Picuris will benefit from this exciting new industry, which is projected to bring $300 million in sales annually and create 11,000 jobs in New Mexico.”
Intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) like those announced Friday, established through the Cannabis Regulation Act, enable tribal communities to participate in the cannabis industry in ways that support community health and public safety while maximizing cross-jurisdiction market opportunities.
“I am pleased that the intergovernmental agreement respects the Pueblo’s sovereignty,” said Picuris Governor Craig Quanchello. “This creates a meaningful opportunity for the Pueblo to engage in well-regulated and coordinated legal cannabis markets for the benefit and protection of our community, including a framework for ongoing collaboration with the State to protect our shared interests.”
“We’re very satisfied with this intergovernmental agreement and our ability to work together with the Department on this collaborative effort to maintain a robust regulatory environment for cannabis,” said Pojoaque Governor Jenelle Roybal. “Cannabis is an exciting new opportunity to diversify our economic development, and revenues from a Pueblo cannabis enterprise will support tribal governmental programs and the surrounding community.”
“Collaboration and cooperation are key to building a successful adult-use cannabis industry — and maintaining our nationally recognized medical cannabis program,” said Linda M. Trujillo, superintendent of the Regulation and Licensing Department, which houses the Cannabis Control Division. “The state is proud to be incorporating the New Mexican values of fairness and social equity into this new industry.”
With cannabis still illegal under federal law, IGAs prevent federal law enforcement action on tribal lands where communities want to participate in the adult-use market in New Mexico.
“These agreements are critical in providing tribes the opportunity to develop and implement state-tribal authorized cannabis programs while also offering opportunities for economic growth that will benefit our tribal communities and people,” said Indian Affairs Department Cabinet Secretary Lynn Trujillo.
Although other states such as Nevada and Washington have IGAs with their sovereign neighbors, the agreements with Picuris and Pojoaque pueblos set New Mexico at the national forefront. These agreements not only formalize pro-tribal policies, such as a state duty to consult and incorporate tribal concepts and policies related to cannabis, but also are the only IGAs in the nation that provide for ongoing meetings and consultations between state and tribe.
“New Mexico, the Pueblo of Picuris and the Pueblo of Pojoaque are establishing a new, positive way forward together,” Lujan Grisham said. “Rather than just establishing lines and limits, then each community going its own way, these agreements create real partnerships that provide the framework to meet and discuss in detail the challenges and opportunities we face together in New Mexico.”
The Cannabis Regulation Act, passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Lujan Grisham in 2021, provides for the legal possession, production and sale of adult-use cannabis in New Mexico. Sales will begin on April 1.