SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The state’s Cannabis Control Division is once again losing its director. In a brief email, acting director Andrew Vallejos says he’s stepping down.

This is the third change in leadership since the department was created. Former Director Kristen Thompson left last year then joined a private consulting firm. To fill that vacancy, Carolina Barrera stepped in as acting director. Andrew Vallejos then took the reins as the acting director.

On Tuesday, March 21, Vallejos sent a brief email to colleagues noting that he plans on leaving March 31, 2023. He did not say why in the email. Vallejos was also leading the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.

Bernice Geiger, the spokesperson for the agency overseeing the Cannabis Control Division, says that Linda Trujillo, the superintendent for the state’s Regulation and Licensing Department, will step in to lead the Cannabis Control Division and the Alcoholic Beverage Division. And Geiger says despite the turnover, it’s business as usual at the Cannabis Control Division.

“The staff in the Cannabis Control Division continue to work diligently to stand up this brand new industry. They remain committed to helping those who wish to run a cannabis business get their license in an efficient manner and continue to ensure that New Mexicans have access to safe cannabis products,” Geiger says.