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Largest Cannabis Cultivation Facility in US Proposed for New Mexico

Legalization is shaping up to be among the campaign issues in the New Mexico gubernatorial race.

A project described as the largest cannabis cultivation facility in North America was proposed in New Mexico Thursday.

Ultra Health announced the acquisition of farmland while unveiling a three-dimensional rendering of what the facility will look like via social media.

The property spans nearly one-third of a square mile in Otero County. It will include 20 acres of indoor cultivation, 80 acres of outdoor cannabis fields and another 100 acres of outdoor hemp fields.

Ultra Health president and CEO Duke Rodriguez said the company is preparing for a future in which New Mexico stands to benefit from an expanded medical marijuana market and legalized recreational use.

The company says the grow facility is expected to employ about 100 people.

Legalization is shaping up to be among the campaign issues in the gubernatorial race.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jeff Apodaca is calling for the expansion of New Mexico's medical marijuana program and for the legalization of recreational use.

Apodaca released his plan Thursday, saying New Mexico is losing out on jobs and tax revenues that could be generated by the industry.

New Mexico's medical program has grown exponentially and now has more than 50,000 patients. Record sales were also reported in 2017.

At a recent forum, Republican Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce expressed reservations about legalization.

Among the other Democratic candidates, U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham says she would support a measure that includes adequate health and enforcement measures to prevent underage use and workplace problems.

State Sen. Joseph Cervantes has sponsored unsuccessful legislation to decriminalize possession of small quantities of pot but has said the state isn't ready yet to legalize.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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