New Mexico Lawmakers Consider Social Equity in Cannabis Legalization Proposals


<![CDATA[After a failed attempt to legalize adult-use cannabis last year, the New Mexico Legislature is once again taking up the issue, this time placing a greater emphasis on social equity.RELATED: New Mexico Lawmakers Introduce Competing Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization ProposalsFour legalization bills have been introduced in the legislature to date—two in the Senate and two in the House. Lawmakers are essentially considering three different versions of legalization proposals, as one of the Senate bills is identical to the House version.“They all have some similarities, but there’s really only one that truly centers [on] equity and social justice, and that is of critical importance to Drug Policy Alliance, but even more so to the communities in New Mexico that have been harmed by prohibitionist policies,” Emily Kaltenbach, senior director of resident states and New Mexico for Drug Policy Alliance, told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary.That bill, Kaltenbach said, is House Bill 12, sponsored by Reps. Javier Martinez and Andrea Romero.“Rep. Martinez has been working on this issue for years,” Kaltenbach said. “He strongly believes that social justice and equity have to be the foundations of a legalization bill. Obviously, we want whatever bill gets through and gets to the governor’s desk to center [on] social justice and equity, and that’s what we’ll be fighting for this session.”H.B. 12 aims to create diversity in businesses through a microbusiness license type, which would grant companies a head start in the adult-use program, alongside the state’s existing medical cannabis licensees. These licenses would then be scaled, based on the size and type, so that microbusinesses pay less in licensing fees than larger companies.“In a state like New Mexico, that’s really important because we have a lot of family farms that we’d like to see flourish under a new industry,” Kaltenbach said. “We want to…

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Source : New Mexico Lawmakers Consider Social Equity in Cannabis Legalization Proposals

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