New Mexico (KCBD) – Recreational marijuana is now legal in New Mexico.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham officially enacted adult cannabis legislation in the Land of Enchantment on Monday. New Mexico is now the nation’s 17th state and is only the fifth state to pass it through its state legislature. The landmark measure was approved by the state legislature after the governor called them to a special session late last month.
“The legalization of cannabis for adult use paves the way for creating a new economic engine in our state with the promise of creating thousands of well-paying jobs for years to come,” Governor Lujan Grisham said. “We will increase consumer safety by creating a real industry. We will begin to right the past wrongs of this country’s failed drug war. And we’re going to innovate in an industry that may well transform New Mexico’s economic future for the better.
Now adults 21 and older can own up to two ounces of cannabis and allow home cultivation of up to six plants.
However, it will be almost a year before recreational marijuana hits stores. Retail sales are expected to begin April 1, 2022. Licensing to conduct commercial cannabis activities will begin no later than January 1, 2022.
New Mexico is one of the poorest states in the country. Sales of recreational cannabis for adults could climb to $ 318 million in the first year, creating over several years what could represent more than 11,000 new jobs, according to Dr. Kelly O’Donnell, independent economist and financial expert public. Preliminary estimates are that the excise tax will bring in at least $ 20 million to the general fund in the first full fiscal year, with significant growth in subsequent years. Local communities will also benefit from the additional revenues.
“As we seek to bounce back from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, entrepreneurs will benefit from this excellent opportunity to start new lucrative businesses, state and local governments will benefit from the additional income and, most importantly, workers will benefit from the chance to land new types of jobs and build careers, ”Governor Lujan Grisham said.
“Today, New Mexico has seized a unique opportunity to establish a multi-million industry with a framework that suits our state and will benefit New Mexicans for generations to come,” said Representative Javier Martínez. “Not only are we launching a booming industry that will strengthen our economy, create jobs and generate taxpayer dollars, but we are doing so in a fair way that will curb the illicit market and heal some damage from the failed war against Drugs.”
Surrounded by legislative sponsors and advocates outside the State Capitol, Governor Lujan Grisham, who has advocated for legalization since taking office, has signed legislation that will allow the expungement of former low-level convictions from cannabis from the record of what should be tens of thousands of New Mexicans and make possible the potential early release of offenders convicted of low-level cannabis who are currently incarcerated.
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