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Cannabis trade association holds first meeting in Sunland Park


Bulletin report

In preparation for the April 1 date of legal cannabis sales in New Mexico, the Southwest Cannabis Trade Association (SCTA) held its first meeting Jan. 5 at Ardovino's Desert Crossing in Sunland Park.

“This event brought together budding cannabis businesses and cannabis-adjacent businesses alike,” said SCTA co-founder Nicole Fuchs.

“The mix of attendees was impressive,” Fuchs said. “There were not just growers, cannabis retailers and cannabis manufacturers, but also those eager and willing to serve cannabis businesses in their path to success.”

Fuchs and fellow SCTA founders Glen Astrove and Robert Duran provided welcomes and introductions during the meeting, along with Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea.

Fuchs said other attendees included a CPA, an attorney, journalists and photographers, researchers from New Mexico State University, a Realtor, officials from the City of Las Cruces, lobbyists, Twitter’s NMCannaCast host Chad Lozano and representatives of Dank magazine.

Hilda Chavez, healer and naturopath, and Veronica Saenz were honored as the first in southern New Mexico to be issued cannabis-producer licenses from the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, Fuchs said.

“The energy and excitement in the room was equal and above that of the years of waiting for many who worked and pushed for the legalization of cannabis,” she said.

Fuchs is a technical writer and cannabis-industry consultant. Astrove is co-founder of Rich Global Hemp. Duran is a consultant and marketing/operations expert.

Fuchs said the three “bring a wealth of experience to the association.”

Fuchs “completes licensure, business plans, standard operating procedures and other important documentation on behalf of up-and-coming cannabis businesses,” she said. “Astrove is a true cannabis guru in all respects and has been in the cannabis industry for over 25 years.”

 Duran has an extensive background and 20 years of experience in retail operations, logistics and marketing, Fuchs said.

“Together, we have been fortunate to work with over 50 cannabis businesses collectively,” Fuchs said.

“This has been a remarkable experience for us in many ways, not only have we had the opportunity to meet and network with extraordinary people, but we have also been privy to what people are thinking, what questions they have and what they want for themselves and the cannabis community as a whole.”

Fuchs said SCTA was created “to promote the growth of a strong and united cannabis industry in New Mexico, especially southern New Mexico. (It) will serve as a professional, strong and coordinated voice and resource for cannabis growers, retailers, manufacturers, marketing experts, photographers, consultants and couriers.”