Legal recreational cannabis was supposed to be a money maker for New Mexico. Now, however, taxpayers are subsidizing the industry. The New Mexico Economic Development Department is providing $90,000 from the Local Economic Development Act job-creation fund to a cannabis manufacturing business called Vana LLC, according to the Department.

"The company has constructed a cutting-edge growing and manufacturing facility, engaging local contractors and subcontractors," a release said. "It also sources locally grown cannabis products to process for area farmers, creating an affordable avenue for farmers and micro-producers to manufacture and sell their products and fostering a sustainable local business ecosystem. Vana benefits from a partnership with sister companies Orenda Farms and Vana Society, allowing it to grow, manufacture, and distribute boutique products."

This is the first LEDA grant given to a New Mexico cannabis business. However, EDD has provided funding to other cannabis and hemp entities using other programs, like the Job Training Incentive Program, a Department spokesman told The Center Square by email.

Vana plans to hire 12 new employees with salaries averaging $46,626 annually; Vana also plans to invest $2.6 million into the state over the next decade. Vana got the state's first approved cannabis manufacturing license two years ago. Vana is licensed for "indoor and outdoor farms, a manufacturing facility, and two retail locations, serving both medical and recreational markets," the release said.