BELEN — As the number of retail cannabis stores in Belen continues to grow, the city has put a temporary halt to new applications and zoning certificates.
During a city council meeting on Nov. 7, Belen Mayor Robert Noblin said the city is looking into capping the number of cannabis business licenses depending on the city’s population.
“When we passed the original cannabis ordinance, there were some things that were overlooked,” Noblin said. “Actually, we passed it as a blanket ordinance with the understanding that it’s a living document and these things would be revisited.”
The mayor said one of the items he believes needs to be revisited is density — meaning capping the number of cannabis retail stores to the number of people living in Belen.
“Tonight, we’re simply considering a resolution,” the mayor said. “We’re not changing the ordinance. There will be a public hearing at some point in the future.”
The resolution, which was approved 3-1 by the city council with Councilor Danny Bernal Jr. voting against it, directs staff to stop accepting new applications for cannabis business licenses until the city council makes a decision regarding density.
“Do we have enough dispensaries? Do we want