Brewing company, cannabis lab, tilemaker net state funds - Albuquerque Journal

Brewing company, cannabis lab, tilemaker net state funds

Syzygy Tile in Silver City has received 50,000 in Local Economic Development Funds to expand production and add 22 new jobs. The state also awarded funds to an Albuquerque brewing company and a cannabis testing company. (Courtesy NM Economic Development Department)

A craft brewing company, a cannabis testing lab and an artisan tile maker will receive a collective half a million dollars in state funding to add jobs and expand operations.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the Local Economic Development Act funds at a statewide conference on Monday in Downtown Albuquerque.

Lujan Grisham said the money is a valuable tool for building a strong economy as a foundation to tackle New Mexico’s challenges.

“If you want a healthy workforce … you have to respect them and compensate them in a way that we have ‘stayability,'” Lujan Grisham said.

The LEDA funds announced include:

■ $350,000 to Craftworks LLC in Albuquerque

■ $100,000 to Bluebonnet Labs for locations in Las Cruces and Albuquerque

■ $50,000 to Syzygy Tile in Silver City

Craftworks runs The Craftroom, Sandia Hard Cider and Late Shift Brewing.

The company, which sells beverages to restaurants and retailers statewide, will buy and renovate a building at 1501 12th Street in Albuquerque.

Craftworks will add 14 new employees at an average salary of $40,000. The funding will also support the company’s expansion of cider sales into Texas and lending of equipment to smaller producers.

Bluebonnet Labs, a Dallas-based cannabis testing company, will use the money to add 17 jobs and offset building investments at a lab location on Montgomery Ave. in Albuquerque and a planned Las Cruces facility.

Bluebonnet Labs co-owner Jon Bowman said the company was excited to expand as soon as New Mexico legalized recreational cannabis.

The company detects pesticides and contaminants and determines the potency of cannabis crops and products.

“The states a lot of times don’t have enough labs that are adequate enough to handle the amount of testing that they really should be doing,” Bowman said. “Right now, New Mexico doesn’t require as much testing as other states, but they’re slowly implementing that as well.”

Syzygy Tile in Silver City will add 22 new jobs with the funding.

The ceramic tile company sells its product across North America. Syzygy will leverage the state money to expand into a new 20,000-square foot building.

The economic development conference this week focuses on making New Mexico competitive in a post-pandemic business environment.

New Mexico is working to attract companies that are environmentally-conscious and pay good wages, said state Economic Development Department cabinet secretary Alicia Keyes.

The state’s businesses continue to leverage federal funding from legislation such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

“New Mexico is really, really in a fantastic spot for the next 20 years,” Keyes said of the federal money.

Keyes applauded the governor’s border policies that she said boost trade with Mexico and stressed the importance of programs like tuition-free education.

“Now we have employees and will have employees and New Mexicans who can go into jobs debt free,” Keyes said.

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