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New Mexico becomes America’s newest legal cannabis state

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SANTA FE, NM – New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham officially signed law legalizing the recreational use and sale of marijuana. With their signature, New Mexico is the 18th state legalized for adult use.

Possession will become legal on June 29, 2021 – but not before that.

The governor, a Democrat, has backed marijuana reform to create jobs and support government revenues.

The new law will come into force on June 29, 2021. On this day, people aged 21 and over are allowed to buy and own up to 28 grams of marijuana outside of their homes.

Home builders are allowed to grow up to six plants per person or 12 per household. The scent of marijuana will no longer be a reason for police seizures.

Retail sales begin April 1, 2022

With today’s signature of the governor, an administrative procedure will be initiated that will culminate in the introduction of commercial sales for adults by April 1, 2022 at the latest. The issuing of licenses to carry out commercial cannabis activities will begin no later than January 1, 2022.

“Legalizing adult cannabis paves the way for the creation of a new economic driver in our state with the promise of thousands of high-paying jobs in the years to come,” said Governor Lujan Grisham. “We will increase consumer safety by creating a real industry. We will begin by correcting the mistakes of this country’s failed war on drugs. And we’re going to break new ground in an industry that could change New Mexico’s economic future for the better. “

Potential $ 300 million first year market

Adult recreational cannabis sales could reach $ 318 million in the first year and create more than 11,000 new jobs over several years, said Dr. Kelly O’Donnell, independent economist and public finance expert. Preliminary estimates suggest that excise tax will raise at least $ 20 million for the general fund in its first full fiscal year, with significant growth in subsequent years. Local governments will also benefit from the additional income.

New Mexico voters ousted ardent opponents of legalization from the Senate in the 2020 Democratic primary, paving the way for adult cannabis legalization.

Find leases near the Texas border

Local governments cannot prohibit marijuana companies from opening a business. You can have a say in the location and opening times by zoning.

Medical marijuana dispensaries are already staking out small towns near the Texas Territory border – an important potential market for marijuana tourism. It remains illegal to move marijuana across state lines.

State regulators face challenges as they prepare to license a wide variety of marijuana businesses to companies such as quality testing laboratories, industrial operations that grow, refine, package, and sell cannabis products, and manufacture marijuana micro-businesses that are only grown-up by early 2022 become up to 200 plants.

Also due by early 2022 are rules for product safety, minimum qualifications for a marijuana business license, and standards for reviewing and training “cannabis servers” that have government approval and are at least 21 years old.

There is a special session

The governor convened a special legislative session in late March to address the issue after previous legalization efforts stalled.

Legislators have come together behind a legalization framework from Albuquerque MP Javier Martínez that provides automated procedures to overturn previous convictions for cannabis.

“Today New Mexico took a golden opportunity to build a multi-million dollar industry with a framework that is right for our state and that will benefit New Mexicans for generations to come,” said Martínez. “Not only are we starting a burgeoning industry that strengthens our economies, creates jobs and generates taxpayers’ money, but we’re doing it fairly to curb the illegal market and reverse some of the damage caused by the failed war on drugs.”

The governor’s leadership was praised

Emily Kaltenbach, a Drug Policy Alliance official, praised Governor Lujan Grisham’s longstanding efforts on the matter. “Your leadership,” said Kaltenbach, “along with that of Senator Ortiz y Pino, with whom we have had the privilege of working since 2014 when he first promoted the legalization of cannabis in the state, and representatives Martinez and Romero made it happen.” a reality. “

The bill gives the governor a strong hand in overseeing recreational marijuana through her appointed superintendent of the Regulatory and Licensing Department.

Regulators can limit marijuana cultivation amounts and impose a state fee per plant of up to $ 50 per year.

Some of the state’s medical marijuana producers are campaigning for market control fearing that with the legalization of recreational marijuana, marijuana prices could fall and undermine investment and employment.

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Beth Edmonds