New Mexico explores public financing for cannabis businesses

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Small-scale marijuana businesses in New Mexico could soon have access to publicly-financed loans of up to $250,000 in an effort to promote social and economic fairness.

The New Mexico Finance Authority on Thursday proposed a $5 million line of credit to licensed cannabis microbusinesses in a presentation to a panel of state legislators. Lawmakers declined to endorse the proposal immediately.

Loans would be made available to cannabis “microbusinesses” that can be licensed to cultivate and sell marijuana from up to 200 plants.

In legalizing recreational marijuana, New Mexico wants to promote business opportunities for communities that were penalized disproportionately by past criminal enforcement of marijuana laws.