At the center of the debate is a 140-page bill that would legalize, tax and regulate the recreational use of marijuana for adults. The state now allows cannabis only for medical purposes. The proposal, House Bill 356, cleared its first committee Saturday on a 5-2 vote along party lines, with Democrats in support. “Prohibition simply does not work,” Democratic Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas of Albuquerque said, “and the country is coming to the realization of that.” As it stands now, the proposal would include:Read the rest here.
⋄ Imposing taxes of up to 19 percent on recreational marijuana sales. Annual tax revenue would be in the neighborhood of $56 million, legislative analysts said. The money would go to health, law enforcement and research programs, in addition to city and county governments.
⋄ Allowing cities and counties to opt out of allowing commercial sales of recreational cannabis.
⋄ Expunging criminal records on marijuana arrests and convictions.
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.
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.
Democratic then-Representative from New Mexico's First District, now-Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham worked with Republican-now-Libertarian former Gov. Gary Johnson to legalize cannabis for some patients but Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, signed it into law.
Participants in New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program are now at 70,000 patients.
The New Mexico Legislature is the virtual inverse of #sdleg https://t.co/TU2W8JDdwA via @thenewmexican— interested party (@larry_kurtz) February 10, 2019