New Planning Officials Decide Dispensary Request Based on 'Personal Feelings' – Rio Grande Sun

For prospective cannabis entrepreneurs, a long list of state and local regulations demands compliance. In Española, there’s more to consider: the whims of members of the Planning and Zoning Commission. 

During its first meeting on May 12, Española’s newly-appointed Commission casted some doubt on cannabis prospects in the City.  

In its third vote as a decision-making body, the Commission recommended denial for a variance request regarding a potential recreational cannabis dispensary on Riverside Drive, leading Chair J.R. Trujillo to criticize his fellow councilors for casting their votes based on unrelated concerns.

The request was brought forth by business partners Lou Baker and Ines Palmarin. They sought a variance to open a recreational cannabis dispensary in Española called La Norteña, LLLP. Baker said the two were hoping to “crack the glass ceiling in the cannabis industry” by employing women in their enterprise. 

Baker and Palmarin signed a lease in February for retail space at 908 Riverside Drive. The spot was recently occupied by a medical cannabis dispensary. The building’s current tenants include a nail salon, a barbershop and a church. 

The presence of the church, per City law, would prevent La Norteña from opening there. 

An ordinance for recreational commercial

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