Thursday, August 15, 2019

Texas expected to drive legal cannabis boom in New Mexico

The cannabis legalization task force established by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has released some details of its discussions to the media. Kelly O’Donnell, an economist and consultant who has studied the market, told participants New Mexico should expect increased tourism especially from red states like Texas and Oklahoma.
She estimated the annual revenue for state and local governments could hit $120 million in five years, well beyond what legislative analysts estimated earlier this year. The actual market, of course, would depend on the tax structure and a variety of regulatory decisions, O’Donnell said. O’Donnell said that if legalization is approved, New Mexico policymakers should consider how to tap into the Texas market without violating interstate commerce laws and while maintaining health and safety protections. Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel noted that other states that legalized recreational marijuana have experienced drops in enrollment in their medical programs. New Mexico could also encourage medical consumers to stay in the program by exempting their purchases from the taxes levied on recreational consumers. [Albuquerque Journal]
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 just opened facilities in Clayton near the borders with Texas and Oklahoma. Keeping the industry from the clutches of a monopoly has been contentious. The concessions to insure the longevity of therapeutic cannabis are seen as a nod to Ultra. Enrollment in the state's therapeutic cannabis program has gone over 76,000 patients.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office has filed a motion in First Judicial District Court to intervene in a lawsuit by out-of-state residents who say they should be allowed to participate in the state’s Medical Cannabis Program. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
Colorado shafted her medical growers to expand the industry there but her black market is still thriving. Black market cannabis not tested by the state makes America and New Mexico less safe.
“So I think the race is on,” said Jeremy Kapteyn, a patent attorney focusing on marijuana law. He’s happy about the shift. He says it’s one way if normalizing this emerging industry. But “there's going to be winners and losers,” he said. “It's not a merit-based system. It's whoever's first and has the most money.” In other words, capitalism in action. [KRCC: "There Will Be Winners And Losers" In the Marijuana Patent Race]
It's the view of this interested party that growers should be able to market their product like vineyards have tasting rooms and breweries have tap rooms but allowing state-owned stores will only give the government control over the various strains. The State of New Mexico should offer incentives to tribes, pueblos and others for organic cannabis grown with off-grid sources of electricity and rainwater harvest. Also, edibles should only be dispensed by pharmacists, all grows and product offered for public sale, including cannabidiol or CBD, should be inspected by the state.

Monday, August 5, 2019

American football going the way of the dodo in New Mexico

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found 110 out of 111 brains of those who played in the National Football League had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
In June, McCurdy Charter School in Española canceled its season after half of the 26 players were declared academically ineligible. Questa, which prematurely ended back-to-back seasons in 2017 and 2018 because of a lack of players, will not field a team this year. On Wednesday, Mission Achievement and Success Charter School in Albuquerque dropped out of the New Mexico Activities Association, meaning it will not play football this season. Los Alamos’ [Garrett] Williams laments that his program lags behind sports like cross-country and soccer in terms of attracting athletes, in part because some parents didn’t play the sport or grow up in football-centric towns. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
The only difference between American football and Roman gladiators is the losing team isn't fed to the lions.

American football is a tool of fascism. NFL players protesting law enforcement industry violence against people of color during the Star-Speckled Banana before contests is America's just deserts.

The NFL, the Fox group and the Trump Organization are among the country's most hated companies. Dissolving the NFL then ending college and high school ball can't happen soon enough.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Conejos Fire being allowed to clear fuels

Longtime college friend, Kim and his sweetheart, Christina just spent his birthday week at the casita. We traded lodging for tickets to The Dead South who played at Santa Fe Brewing Company's new venue.

One day trip we took was from Bandelier National Monument through the Jemez Mountains--the attached image was captured at Valles Caldera National Preserve where some scenes from the teevee series Longmire were produced. Christina is a fire management specialist in Arizona so we were encouraged by how well the aspen and gambel oak are coming back in the Las Conchas and Thompson Ridge wildfire scars.

There are numerous slash piles along NM4 in the higher elevations and places where low intensity fire has been recently introduced. It looks like the Santa Fe National Forest is planning more prescribed fires but much of the grass is actually too green to fire very well.
The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) plans to manage the Conejos Fire for multiple resource benefits, including improved forest health, reduced fuel loadings and improved wildlife habitat. Naturally occurring fires that burn with lower intensity under favorable conditions help reintroduce fire to fire-dependent forest ecosystems. Firefighter and public safety is always the first priority on all wildland fire incidents. [NM Fire Info]
Smoke from the Conejos Fire is clearly visible from Red Rock Road even this morning.

Il Trumpo has blamed California wildfires on the lack of logging with statements typically lacking in facts but the real culprits are decades of fire suppression, Republican entrenchment and a warming climate.