Is Cannabis Going to be Legalized in New Mexico?

Ever since New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham took office, she has been a major advocate of legalizing marijuana. You may have read one of the articles discussing the details of the bill or heard the media buzz around the bill and the current legislative session. Regardless of where you stand, it is essential to be informed. 

We wanted to break down (or grind down 😉 ) precisely what has been going on, what the next steps look like, and what you need to know. 

Let’s start with the Basics.

The governor has pushed to legalize recreational cannabis. Currently, New Mexico has legalized medical cannabis, which means only those with a medical card can access it. New Mexico is one of 33 states with legalized medical marijuana and could potentially be the 12th to legalize it recreationally. 

So What?

If this passes, it would mean that anyone above the age of 21 would be able to purchase and use cannabis without any legal repercussions. If this bill passes, we would be looking at the start date of July 2021. 

The taxes on recreational pot would be around 17-19% and taxes for medical patients and low-income patients would vary. That means that qualifying patients would be able to have access to medical-grade marijuana without intensive financial barriers. Having medical marijuana in a different tax bracket for low-income patients and medical cardholders is an incredible addition to the bill, not mentioned in previous bill proposals. This allows everyone an equal opportunity to explore the benefits of marijuana. 

The plan calls for a ban on using characters and minors in advertising (along with the establishment of your prevention and education programs), and food-grade testing of marijuana products. 

In other states, there is an option for local government to opt-out of legal weed. This plan will prohibit any local New Mexican government from banning the sale of recreational cannabis (although local zoning rules can still interfere)  

The plan suggests that the revenue from recreational cannabis goes towards housing, local business, and education for marginalized communities in New Mexico. The bill points out that this would be an excellent opportunity for local tribes, nations, and pueblos. 

And What About the Little Guys?

Great question! We have often seen industries that have massive barriers to entry (licensing fees, insurance, etc.), which only allow big players to enter the market. The governor’s plan focuses on keeping licensing fees low (to about $500 per month), so that small businesses and start-ups have easy entry into the industry. 

That means you will have the ability to support local. Remember to always vote with your wallet!

What Happens During These Next 30 Days?

There are a few steps in between where we are now and the legalization of recreational marijuana. We wanted to break down the process, so you can understand where we are and where has to happen for this bill to pass:

  1. A bill is filed.

*This can happen either before or at the beginning of a legislative session

  1. Once the bill is filed, the proper committee looks through it and can either make any changes necessary to get the votes needed to pass or vetoes the bill.
  2. The committee then votes to send it to the main floor.
  3. If the bill passes on the main floor, it is voted on by the house of representatives.
  4. If it passes through the house of representatives, then it goes to the Senate. 
  5. If the Senate passes the bill, it goes to the governor, and she decides to either sign or veto the bill. 

Currently, three out of every four New Mexicans are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana.

Can I Do Anything?

You can! Getting involved during the legislative session is a great way to have your voice heard. This article will walk you through finding your representative, helping you figure out what to say, and how to make an impact while doing it. 

Trishelle Kirk, Everest’s Director of Operations, has been passionate about this movement from the get-go, “There is a stigma to cannabis that, like many stigmas, is built from a lack of information. Legislators and detractors get caught on the “cannabis” part of the business and forget the economic impact from the opportunity of doubling or tripling the size of the industry. 

This issue isn’t a question of cannabis being part of our community, cannabis has been part of our society for decades. This is a question of whether or not the New Mexico legislature wants to see exponential growth in this industry. 

New Mexico needs growing industries. Studies have shown that moving from a medical cannabis program to an adult-use program will create 11,000 jobs. 11,000 opportunities. 11,000 careers. Cannabis companies are also required to have majority local ownership, which means profits will be reinvested back into our community.

We all agree that for years, our New Mexico law enforcement has needed more training and more resources, adult-use cannabis revenue would be a fantastic financial tool. We all agree that better drug and alcohol education in our K-12 schools is long overdue, tax dollars from cannabis can facilitate such programs financially.

The question isn’t IF we have the opportunity to grow, it’s WHEN will we decide to take it?”.

Everest is proud to deliver the highest quality experiences cannabis can offer. Each product is cultivated, grown, and produced with a desire to help the end-user in the most organic, pure, and efficient way possible. 

We’re here because you deserve the best: the purest cannabis and high-quality information to go alongside it. 

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UPDATE: January 28, 2020 – The bill has passed the Senate Public Affairs Committee. The next still for the bill is to move to the Senate Finance Committee. Now is the time to call your representative and tell them that you are in favor of this bill passing! We will continue updating this blog. 

UPDATE: February 12, 2020 – The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-4 on Wednesday to table the bill. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is still dedicated to legalizing marijuana and has a task force working on continuing the push for legalization.