DOÑA ANA COUNTY, New Mexico - A few dozen residents of the GreyFox subdivision north of Las Cruces approached Doña Ana County commissioners with concerns about a commercial cannabis grow across the street from their homes.
“No one wants to live next to a lot that looks like a detention center with razor wire," said Lisa Butler, who lives across the street from the property, owned by Tingen Farms. "You can control properties at the county level, but you cannot control the market value.”
The property is located near the intersection of Valley Drive and Thorpe Road. Online records indicate the state of New Mexico issued a license to Tingen Farms on April 10th.
“Barbed wire, steel fencing and razor concertina wire around the entire perimeter," said Lyle Wetherholt, who lives in the neighborhood. "It looks like a military outpost in Afghanistan.”
Butler lives outside of the Greyfox Subdivision, which is a gated community east of the property. Multiple residents of that community attended the commission meeting on Tuesday morning with concerns about their property values and quality of life.
“Location matters," said Veronica Galvan, a local real estate agent. "If there’s a cannabis farm next to your home, your property value will drop.”
A representative of Tingen Farms, Jeremiah Tingen, declined to comment. However, advocates in the industry defended the property owner at the county meeting.
"They have followed all the rules and regulations put forth by both the county and the state," said Nicole Fox, a technical writer in the cannabis industry. "The fencing is there for everyone's safety and is a regulation they must abide by in regards to the state."
"Cannabis is just another one of those economic drivers in our state that is recognized legally by the state of New Mexico," said Daniel Buck, a consultant in the industry. "(This grow) is not even part of the private development that's on the avenue adjacent on Valley Drive."