New Mexico has joined neighbors Arizona and Colorado as an adult-use cannabis state. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the legislation into law on April 12.
"This is a way to not only diversify our economy - good for local governments, good for the state government - but it means that we're bringing about justice in every single community to so many New Mexicans who have waited far too long for us to get that done," Grisham stated. "I congratulate this legislature for getting this bill across the finish line."
Following right behind New York and Virginia, New Mexico is now the 18th state to legalize recreational marijuana.
After Grisham called a special session, the state legislature gathered in Albuquerque to focus on passing the Cannabis Regulation Act (HB 2).
On March 31, the House (38-32) and Senate (22-15) voted in favor. The bill now goes to the governor who will sign it.
Here are the highlights:
• Possession of up to two ounces (57 grams) allowed.
• Six plants at home - or up to 12 per household allowed.
• Recreational cannabis legal in 2022.
• Maximum 20% tax.
• No limits on the amount of licenses issued.
• Criminal records for personal posssession expunged.
• Those currently serving jail time for marijuana-related offenses to have cases reviewed.
Grisham stated after the bills were passed:
“This is a good bill. This special session was a success. And the work of making sure that this industry is a success, that New Mexicans are able to reap the full economic and social benefit of legalized adult-use cannabis, that workplace and roadway safety are assured to the greatest degree possible – that work will go on. Change never comes easily and rarely does it occur as quickly as we might like. But with this major step forward, we are signaling more clearly than ever before that we are ready, as a state, to truly break new ground, to think differently about ourselves and our economic future, to fearlessly invest in ourselves and in the limitless potential of New Mexicans.”
In 2020, Grisham estimated legalization would create 11,000 new jobs in the state, from cultivation to retail, with sales of $620 million and revenues up to $100 million by year five of the program.
The other 17 adult-use cannabis states are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.