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Doña Ana County to decide if man can grow marijuana in Chaparral

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - A Doña Ana County man is asking for permission to grow marijuana in Chaparral after the county's planning and zoning commission denied his application to grow and sell.

“We’re not trying to hurt anybody," said Manuel Cervantes, an east El Paso resident. "We’re not bringing crime as some people might have assumed.”

Cervantes had originally applied to grow marijuana and start a dispensary at 205 Paloma Blanca Drive in Chaparral, according to the county. However, the county's planning and zoning committee denied that application.

“We don’t want it in our neighborhood," said Dana Cortinas, a neighbor.

“It’s going to push up the crime rate," said Roger Gilliland, who also lives in the neighborhood. "If they can’t have the money to buy it, they’re going to break into houses."

“We know it’s going to happen, but not in our neighborhood," said Nanette Reyes. “It’s going to hurt our property value.”

Cervantes dropped his request to start a dispensary, according to the commission. He is now just requesting to just grow marijuana on the property and sell his product to other dispensaries.

“There’s not going to be any customers walking into our location," Cervantes told commissioners and the public. "There’s not going to be any traffic from out of state or out of city.”

The Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners declined to take up his appeal, asking the planning and zoning staffers to consider his revised application to just grow.

“Most of the concern is toward cannabis itself, which is not what we’re applying for," Cervantes said. "The cannabis law went into effect last year.”

“We understand that marijuana is legal," Cortinas said. "Alcohol is legal. Do you want a bar next door to your house?"

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.

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