Cannabis Control Division spokeswoman paid $125 an hour under no-bid contract | Local NewsPosted by On

Generating positive press about New Mexico’s burgeoning recreational cannabis industry is a high-dollar endeavor.

The state’s new Cannabis Control Division is paying an Albuquerque-based public relations specialist $125 an hour under a no-bid, $64,750 consulting services contract designed to make the agency look good.

The rate for Heather Brewer, president of HB Strategies, is two to three times the pay earned by some of the state’s highest-paid communications workers.

Brewer’s contract calls for her to amplify the division’s “successful development and implementation of rules and regulations in the lead up to the legal sale of adult-use cannabis” through earned media, or positive publicity that doesn’t involve paid advertising.

It also calls for Brewer to maintain “consistent, positive messaging around the benefits of the [recreational marijuana] program to the state and the ongoing support of the Medical Cannabis Program.”

Bernice Geiger, public information officer and marketing director for the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, which oversees the Cannabis Control Division, did not respond to a request for a telephone interview. But she wrote in an email the amount of Brewer’s contract did not require a competitive bidding process under the state’s procurement law.

“HB Strategies has years of communications…

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Generating positive press about New Mexico’s burgeoning recreational cannabis industry is a high-dollar endeavor.

The state’s new Cannabis Control Division is paying an Albuquerque-based public relations specialist $125 an hour under a no-bid, $64,750 consulting services contract designed to make the agency look good.

The rate for Heather Brewer, president of HB Strategies, is two to three times the pay earned by some of the state’s highest-paid communications workers.

Brewer’s contract calls for her to amplify the division’s “successful development and implementation of rules and regulations in the lead up to the legal sale of adult-use cannabis” through earned media, or positive publicity that doesn’t involve paid advertising.

It also calls for Brewer to maintain “consistent, positive messaging around the benefits of the [recreational marijuana] program to the state and the ongoing support of the Medical Cannabis Program.”

Bernice Geiger, public information officer and marketing director for the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, which oversees the Cannabis Control Division, did not respond to a request for a telephone interview. But she wrote in an email the amount of Brewer’s contract did not require a competitive bidding process under the state’s procurement law.

“HB Strategies has years of communications…



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