In December 2021, the New Mexico Finance Authority passed a new $5 million loan program to help cannabis microbusinesses succeed. This initiative will have a focus on microbusinesses that operate by members of communities disproportionately impacted by law enforcement or businesses located in rural areas.
Marquita Russel, CEO of the New Mexico Finance Authority (NMFA), told New Mexico Daily that with the new microbusiness loan program, the NMFA is happy to provide access to capital and help even more New Mexicans benefit from the “economic opportunities created by the legalization of adult-use cannabis.”
She explained that this program will give New Mexico small businesses, especially those in rural and economically disadvantaged communities, “a tool to make this industry more accessible and help get their businesses off the ground.”
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The forthcoming Cannabis Microbusiness Loan Program will give affordable loans to licensed cannabis businesses that show a managerial and technical capacity to operate but can’t find funds to start up because of their size, socio-economic or demographic factors.
The program has $5 million to donate, and individual loans should be up to $250,000. The average loan size is roughly $100,000. The loans will be entirely collateralized, and there is a minimum of 5% equity requirement. The loan terms will go up to 5 years, and interest rates should be somewhere from 2-3%.
Linda Trujillo, superintendent of the Regulation and Licensing Department, which houses the Cannabis Control Division, told New Mexico Daily that throughout their “ongoing open and transparent rulemaking process,” the Cannabis Control Divison has listened and heard that “it’s hard for microbusiness to access the capital needed to start a successful business.”
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Trujillo continued that this administration is “committed” to creating a thriving cannabis industry and one that “incorporates New Mexico’s values of social equity and fairness.” She said her division is grateful to work with the NMFA to implement this loan program and enhance the division’s commitment to social equity in this evolving industry.
New Mexico’s Legislature passed the Cannabis Regulation Act in 2021, signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, which legalized the sale of adult-use cannabis in the state. The Cannabis Regulation Act touched on a social and economic equity mandate to promote diverse and full participation in the cannabis industry.
The new law aims to relieve communities that have been disproportionately affected by wrongful cannabis crimes, rural communities that would be impacted by cannabis production, and agricultural producers from economically disadvantaged communities. Adult-use cannabis will begin selling in New Mexico by April 1, 2022.