Wednesday, November 14, 2018

New Mexico legislature poised to legalize, grow Big Dope

Speaker of the New Mexico House Brian Egolf not only supports legalization for all adults he serves as legal counsel for the state's therapeutic cannabis leader, Ultra Health.
Sen. Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe), the Senate's majority floor leader, says his chamber is more likely to vote in favor now because Democrats picked up two seats in the 2016 election. Like Egolf, he is also a personal supporter of recreational cannabis. Current purchasers of cannabis in New Mexico's medical program pay just gross receipts tax. Whether and how the state levies additional excise tax could get complicated in a hurry. [Here Comes the Nug]
Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber said he will lobby the New Mexico Legislature to propel legalization and with Michelle Lujan Grisham elected as governor it’s looking likelier.
In an interview, Webber said there are numerous reasons for New Mexico to join the other states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. “It is broadly supported, it is a new source of revenue and by making it legal, we will stop wasting our law enforcement resources on something that is really a victimless crime,” he said, adding that the state should still be concerned about youth using marijuana, as well as people who “overindulge.” “I think it’s an intelligent step, and the state, I think, would be well served to get in line for legalizing and regulating cannabis,” the mayor added. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
Black market cannabis not tested or subject to regulation makes America and New Mexico less safe.

Governor-elect Lujan Grisham worked with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson to legalize cannabis for some patients but Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, signed it into law.
Lujan Grisham said if she is elected governor she would sign a recreational cannabis bill into law if it included certain conditions. One of the conditions she would require is that the bill provides protection for medical cannabis, which often has lower levels of THC than recreational cannabis. She said the bill would need to include regulation of edibles. [Farmington Daily Times]
Legalizing and regulating a product that so many people enjoy is reasonable public policy aligned with life safety concerns but giving a monopoly to Ultra Health only feeds Big Dope.

Calling itself "New Mexico's No. 1 cannabis company" Ultra Health has broken ground in Clayton near the borders with Texas and Oklahoma. Big Dope Ultra has nine dispensaries in New Mexico and plans to at least double that next year.

Last year Israel-based Panaxia Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Ultra Health opened a facility in Bernalillo to manufacture cannabis oil, oral tablets, suppositories, pastilles, transdermal patches and topical creams. The collaboration came on the heels of a University of New Mexico resolution demanding the school divest from corporations that profit from human rights violations both in Palestine and at the US-Mexico border. It was later rescinded.

New Mexico is struggling with its own colonial past.
When it comes to Native American history, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is out to squash every superstition, lie, and rumor. Remember, it was a papal bull that gave permission for the Portuguese to colonize Africa, for the Spanish to colonize the Americas. It was taken up by British Protestants, too — it essentially became international law — the right to colonize non-Christian peoples. Thomas Jefferson supported this doctrine, and under Andrew Jackson, it was codified into law as the U.S. sought the subjugation of Indians west of the Mississippi River. That follows us to this day,” Dunbar-Ortiz said. [Pasatiempo]
Arizona-based Ultra Health CEO Duke Rodriguez has praised the state for blooming sales and showered Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Lujan Grisham with campaign dollars.

How condoning the loss of local control and colonial brutality both in Palestine and in New Mexico looks good to Democratic voters remains a mystery.

My preference is craft growers would also be marketers like vineyards and brewers subject to state inspections. Revenue debate needs to be done in committee in concert with tribal officials interested in forging compacts.

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