The special session that was called for March 30, 2021 by the Governor to pass two main bills. Senate Bill 1, expanding the local economic development act, that passed on Tuesday. And House Bill 2, the legalization of recreational use marijuana, that passed Wednesday night.
The bill to legalize recreational marijuana passed the Senate on a vote of 22-15 Wednesday night. It now heads to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk for her to sign into law. This bill comes with certain safeguards for New Mexico’s medical cannabis program.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement, “This is a significant victory for New Mexico. Workers will benefit from the opportunity to build careers in this new economy. Entrepreneurs will benefit from the opportunity to create lucrative new enterprises. The state and local governments will benefit from the additional revenue. Consumers will benefit from the standardization and regulation that comes with a bona fide industry. And those who have been harmed by this country’s failed war on drugs, disproportionately communities of color, will benefit from our state’s smart, fair and equitable new approach to past low-level convictions.”
As the bill currently stands:
- Recreational cannabis will be legal in 2022
- There will be a maximum 20% tax on it
- The state will regulate sellers
- There will be no limits on the amount of license issued
- People who have been convicted of possessing it for personal use will have their criminal record expunged
- Eventually, there will be a cap on the number of plants sellers can grow.