LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Las Cruces is now the only large city in New Mexico where marijuana users can buy joints, edibles and flower at all hours of the day.
"I don't want this industry to just survive: I want it to thrive," said Councilwoman Johana Bencomo, who represents district four. "In order for us to do that, we have to separate it from the way we talk about... alcohol."
On Monday, the Las Cruces City Council decided not to set operating hours for businesses that want to sell marijuana. The deputy city attorney had originally recommended that dispensaries be allowed to operate from 7 a.m. until 2 a.m., just like businesses that sell alcohol.
Bencomo criticized the "continued and problematic association between alcohol and cannabis."
Advocates praised the decision, but the mayor said he did want to set operating hours.
"Cannabis has saved lives and alcohol has taken lives," said Chad Lozano, a local grower and host of 'NM CannaCast.'