Former Colorado lobbyist to lead NM cannabis division - Albuquerque Journal

Former Colorado lobbyist to lead NM cannabis division

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – A former Colorado lobbyist who played a role in crafting that state’s marijuana legalization laws has been hired as the first director of New Mexico’s Cannabis Control Division.

Kristen Thomson started her new job Nov. 1 and faces quick deadlines, with commercial cannabis sales slated to begin statewide by no later than April.

Lawmakers approved a bill to make New Mexico the 17th state to legalize recreational marijuana for adult users during a special session called by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in March.

While commercial sales will not begin until next year, possession and consumption of small amounts of marijuana is already legal under the new law.

Legislators also approved a separate measure to wipe certain cannabis-related convictions off New Mexicans’ criminal records, though the mechanics of expunging such records have proven challenging.

Thomson has worked for several different lobbying and consulting firms, according to her résumé.

Most recently, she advocated for a bill that allows branding initiatives – but not explicit advertising – by Colorado cannabis companies in her position as senior director of governmental affairs for The Green Solution, a cannabis retailer that operates about 20 different dispensaries.

As director of New Mexico’s Cannabis Control Division, Thomson will direct the division’s licensing mandate and oversee additional rule-making in the run-up to the start of legal commercial cannabis sales.

The state has already adopted regulations dealing with producer licenses, fees and marijuana plant count limits for licensed producers.

The latest rule porposal would require licensed cannabis retailers to maintain a labor peace agreement with any union that represents retailer employees.

Such an agreement would prohibit boycotts, strikes and picketing against a dispensary, according to the proposal, which will be the subject of a Dec. 1 public hearing.

The Cannabis Control Division, which was established in June under New Mexico’s legalization law, is housed within the state’s Regulation and Licensing Department.

As the division’s director, Thomson will make an annual salary of $105,000, an RLD spokeswoman said.

Colorado was the second state to legalize recreational cannabis, but the first state to actually launch licensed sales in 2014.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
City Council denies $110 million facilities plan
ABQnews Seeker
New bonds included in package would ... New bonds included in package would have taken 19 years to pay off
2
Pryor's buzzer beater in OT gives NMSU heated win ...
ABQnews Seeker
Nate Pryor's overtime buzzer beater gave ... Nate Pryor's overtime buzzer beater gave NSMU a win over rival UNM in front of 13,019 fans in the Pit before emphatically celebrating on ...
3
Emptying the Notebook: Aggie/Lobo rivalry is heated again
ABQnews Seeker
Here are some extra notes, quotes, ... Here are some extra notes, quotes, stats, video and whatever else I could empty out of the old notebook after Monday's overtime thriller between ...
4
NMSU nursing student sings national anthem in Diné Bizaad
ABQnews Seeker
Vanisha Sam hopes to work closely ... Vanisha Sam hopes to work closely with the Navajo people and help impact the community via health care
5
Woman tries to set fire to the Islamic Center
ABQnews Seeker
Mosque officials believe she also tried ... Mosque officials believe she also tried to start a fire inside the center on Nov. 7
6
NM tourism leaders seek $55M from lawmakers to help ...
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico tourism leaders are requesting ... New Mexico tourism leaders are requesting $55 million from lawmakers during the special legislative ...
7
New Mexico could see snow, gusty winds
ABQnews Seeker
Snow levels will move to lower ... Snow levels will move to lower elevations in central and northern NM as Friday progresses
8
Virtual lecture on events 80 years ago
ABQnews Seeker
Event will focus on America's entry ... Event will focus on America's entry into the war, the New Mexicans who died and events surrounding the 52 subs lost in the war
9
Man charged after police say he grabbed bus steering ...
ABQnews Seeker
Resulting crash injured several passengers; driver ... Resulting crash injured several passengers; driver is in critical condition