Monday, January 7, 2019

New Mexico legislators offer bill to legalize cannabis, protect industry from Big Dope

The conservative leaning Albuquerque Journal is producing a series on the complexity of cannabis legalization in New Mexico and the creation of the mechanism to regulate the new industry while expunging the records of past offenders.
After all, supporters predict that legalization of marijuana would create up to 11,000 jobs and generate more than $100 million in tax revenue – claims that opponents say are inflated and don’t take into account the social costs that could come with pot dispensaries on every corner. The bill that was introduced would allow growers to operate in any part of the state and would charge an excise tax per plant. The bill would keep medical marijuana patient registration with the state Department of Health, but all licensing would be moved to the Department of Regulation and Licensing – the agency that oversees liquor licenses. Under the legislation, the state would set aside 2 percent of the net taxes on legal marijuana to create a fund that would give grants to organizations working on drug education programs and workforce training and placement in those communities. [Building and regulating a new industry from scratch]
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. Calling itself "New Mexico's No. 1 cannabis company" Big Dope Ultra Health has broken ground in Clayton near the borders with Texas and Oklahoma. Keeping the industry from the clutches of a monopoly is expected to be contentious.

Alaska law allows up to twelve plants for each household to grow for personal enjoyment.

My preference is craft growers would also be marketers like vineyards and brewers subject to state inspections. The revenue debate needs to be done in committee in concert with tribal officials interested in forging compacts with the state and acknowledgement the future of value-added cannabis is grown outdoors, organic, geothermally heated indoors and powered by off-grid sources of electricity.

New Mexico's flag has been named the coolest in America. The above image was captured at Mount Rushmore National Monument in the occupied Black Hills.

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