Leisure marijuana legalization legislation is pending in New Mexico, however it could have a particular session
New Mexico lawmakers postponed a Senate vote on a law to legalize recreational marijuana because the regular term ended on Saturday. However, the measure could be aimed at a special session.
Legislators failed to meet Saturday lunchtime deadline to approve adult use measure and send it to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has urged legalization.
But governor’s spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett said Friday night that Lujan Grisham would likely convene a special session of the legislature if the bill didn’t cross the finish line, Associated Press reported.
“The governor is ready to call a special session to get cannabis right,” Sackett wrote in an email. “It’s important enough, and we’re close enough, that the governor has a firm belief that it will be worth the extra effort.”
The State House passed Bill HB 12 last month by 39 votes to 31.
Two state Senate committees changed the measure and rolled it over to the entire Senate, but the Senate leadership decided to focus on other priorities in the final hours of the regular session.
“Although we’re disappointed that New Mexicans will have to wait a little longer to reap the benefits and justice that cannabis legalization offers – especially for Hispanic / Latin American, black, indigenous and indigenous communities disproportionately affected by prohibitions are -… we applaud Governor Lujan Grisham for not waiting and pointing out that she will start legalization in a special session, ”said Emily Kaltenbach, senior director of the Drug Policy Alliance in New Mexico, in a statement .
The alliance spearheaded lobbying for adult marijuana legalization in the state.
Marijuana Business Daily predicts an adult market in New Mexico will have sales of $ 125 million annually for the first full year and $ 325 million annually for the fourth year. The state has a steadily growing medical marijuana market valued at around $ 200 million.
Retail sales would start as early as April 1, 2022, according to the latest version of the bill.
The measure offers opportunities for small businesses and returns part of the tax revenue to communities that are disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.
A 12% excise duty would be charged on the sale of adult products. The sale of medical marijuana would be tax-free.
Jeff Smith can be contacted at [email protected].