Two different bills aimed at legalizing cannabis in New Mexico have been passed by committees in the state senate and assembly.
At the start of this month, the Health and Human Services Committee of the state Assembly approved a proposal to allow adults who were at least 21 years old to use recreational cannabis.
Under this proposal, adults would be allowed to grow their own cannabis, if they so wished, and upon fulfilling the requirements to obtain a cultivation license from the state. Retailers would also be licensed by the state.
The proposal also has provisions that would allow previous cannabis arrests and convictions to be expunged from the criminal records of New Mexico residents. However, the proposal allowed employers to maintain zero-tolerance to the consumption of cannabis by their employees.
This bill now waits to be presented before the entire Assembly for debate and a vote.
The second marijuana legalization bill also received a nod from the members of the state Senate Public Affairs Committee. This bill received unanimous support (5-0) when a vote was called.
Under this proposal, adults who were 21 or older could use cannabis for recreational purposes. However, this bill outlaws the home cultivation of marijuana by state residents. Instead, all the recreational cannabis will be bought from retail stores run by the state.
Additionally, the senate bill doesn’t include any provisions to expunge the previous marijuana arrest and conviction records for New Mexico residents.
This senate bill will now be forwarded to two other committees before it is tabled before the entire senate for consideration.
The two bills both have suggestions on how marijuana should be taxed. However, none of those bills proposes any taxes on medical marijuana.
It is clear that there is bi-partisan momentum building up to see the end of cannabis prohibition in the state. In fact, the current governor (Michelle Grisham-D) campaigned on a pro-cannabis platform. While delivering her maiden State of the State address, Gov. Grisham pledged that she would work to include opioid addiction among the conditions for which someone could start using medical marijuana.
She has also indicated that any law that is passed to legalize marijuana should address issues of public safety, regulation of cannabis edibles, workplace intoxication and issues of underage cannabis use.
The cannabis industry, especially Sproutly Canada, Inc. (OTCQB: SRUTF) (CSE: SPR) (FRA: 38G) and Sugarmade, Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD), is glad that New Mexico is in agreement that cannabis would be beneficial to the population there.
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