Cannabis has been in a cultural process of “mainstreaming” for awhile now, in New Mexico and nationwide. But the federal government has remained a stubborn roadblock to progress. Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is still a Schedule I drug. That means the feds legally classify it as equal to heroin and meth. Cocaine, on Schedule II, is officially considered safer.
But, now, federal officials are finally allowing the plant to be researched. The Bright Green Corporation has obtained a federal permit for a sanctioned marijuana grow in Grants, New Mexico, reports KOB 4.
“We are one of three, in the United States of America, that are federally legal to handle Schedule I drugs,” said Terry Rafih, chairman of Bright Green Corporation. “We chose Grants, New Mexico because of the climate.”
At The Forefront
Bright Green, a Canadian company, said they’re now at the forefront of unlocking the mysteries of marijuana. The corporation has lofty goals and visions of future profits to match.
“If you look at the number of people that are dependent on opioids for many different pains and ailments that we deal with, the product that we are going to be producing out of here and the patents that we have – hopefully – we’re hoping it will eliminate, eventually, opioids. That is our goal,” Rafih said.
The structure of a greenhouse has already been erected at the New Mexico facility. The entire facility will soon be a 115-acre research and manufacturing cannabis plant. With more than 100 employees, company officials say it’s worth more than $300 million in investments. But some locals still have concerns.
‘Very Nervous’ In New Mexico
“They haven’t even talked to anybody in the city of Grants until today. And that makes me very nervous,” said Martin Hicks, mayor of Grants, New Mexico.
The outspoken Mayor Hicks had some reservations.
“My big concerns are water,” he said. “Where are they going to get the water from? Workforce, where are they going to get the workforce from? Where’s that workforce going to live?”
Rafih said the recyclable water system will use less water than the neighboring city golf course. He said that to begin with, there will be more than 400 local jobs needed for construction.
“Am I against this project? No. We need jobs, we need everything that goes along with it,” Hicks said. “But, I do have a lot of concerns that need to be answered.”
“If we do all the things we say we’re going to do, and we have every intention of doing so, then it should be a long, long-term play,” Rafih said.