New Mexico’s new cannabis boss quits after only eight months on the job

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Kristen Thomson has stepped down from the New Mexico Cannabis Control Division

Less than a year on the job was enough time for the new director of the New Mexico Cannabis Control Division, Kristen Thomson, to decide to leave. Many of the parties involved were happy to hear of her arrival, especially because of her reputation for knowing the industry. However, it appears that eight months is not enough time to demonstrate her expertise.

The news was revealed last week via an email from the Department of Regulation and Licensing. Thomson resigned as the division’s director but gave no explanation as to why she made the decision. “We thank Kristen for her service to the Cannabis Control Division and the State of New Mexico and wish her success in her future endeavors,” Bernice Geiger, spokeswoman for the Regulation and Licensing Department, wrote in an email.

Linda Trujillo, who has a role as Superintendent of Regulation and Licensing, took it upon herself to appoint Carolina Barrera as interim director. The idea behind bringing in Barrera is ideally to “maintain consistency within the division as the Department moves into a new phase of helping the industry grow.”

Barrera has the experience needed for the new position as she had worked with Thomson as deputy director of commercial operations. Thomson, on the other hand, is a former Colorado state lobbyist with strong relationships with the cannabis industry. New Mexico opted to create this division, which Thomson joined on Nov. 1. The division was designed as part of the Department of Licensing and Regulation to develop the Land of Enchantment’s recreational cannabis industry framework.