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Mon Apr 5, 2021, 04:23 AM

Legal cannabis advocate celebrates win in New Mexico

At 62, Duke Rodriguez is still running.

Not like he did in high school some 45 years ago, but as president and CEO of New Mexico Top Organics-Ultra Health, the state’s largest medical cannabis operation with annual sales in the $40 million range.

The business, which has 25 facilities around the state, employs about 250 people. And Rodriguez — who has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into state legislative races to support cannabis-friendly lawmakers — plans to move into the retail cannabis business as soon as possible.

A mortal enemy of stasis and prone to brassy pronouncements followed by even brassier business moves, Rodriguez was thought to be the X-factor in the discussion about legalization of marijuana during the regular and special sessions of the Legislature. With beaucoup connections, deep experience in government and the ability to influence policy with campaign cash, some speculated he was a major player throughout.

Rodriguez acknowledges he worked hard on the issue and doesn’t deny he donates to candidates. But he also said he did not have a role in the legalization fight after the regular session began in January.

Read more: https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/legal-cannabis-advocate-celebrates-win-in-new-mexico/article_8cb98180-8e4b-11eb-ad99-2f6020fbb727.html

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