Recreational marijuana consumption lounge opens in New Mexico

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New Mexico’s first recreational marijuana consumption lounge opened in Las Cruces near the border with El Paso, Texas, according to media reports.

“This is really groundbreaking not only for us, but for the state of New Mexico. We’re putting cannabis on the map,” Sol Cannabis co-founder Kwame Ponshock told El Paso TV station KFOX.

Sol Cannabis’ recreational marijuana store and consumption area is well-positioned to take advantage of the expected influx of shoppers crossing the border from Texas, which has only a limited medical marijuana industry.

Ponshock told KFOX that he wanted to create a cannabis-friendly “refuge” for his customers and the public.

The consumption area was busy Saturday when filmed by the television station.

New Mexico lawmakers added medical marijuana consumption areas to the MMJ law in 2019, according to the NM Political Report.

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But MMJ regulators said the concept didn’t take off then in part because the coronavirus pandemic hit soon after, in early 2020.

While New Mexico’s adult-use marijuana law allows cannabis consumption areas, it’s unclear how many municipalities will embrace the concept.