Another New Mexico House Committee Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill

MJ moment

Another New Mexico House committee has approved a bill to legalize marijuana in the state. The Taxation & Revenue Committee, which is chaired by the bill’s sponsor Rep. Javier Martinez (D), passed the legislation on Wednesday in a 8-4 vote. This comes one week after the Health & Human Services Committee advanced the measure. Under the proposal, adults 21 and older would be allowed to possess “at least” two ounces of cannabis and grow up to six mature and six immature plants for personal use. It would also create a system of regulated and taxed cannabis sales. The legislation is favored by reform advocates because—unlike the other House and Senate reform measures that have been introduced this session—it would specifically use tax revenue from marijuana sales to support reinvestments in communities most impacted by the war on drugs. It also stands out for including provisions to automatically expunge prior cannabis convictions. Martinez’s proposal would require rules for the market to be implemented by January 2022. The committee approved a substitute version that includes a number of changes, including moving the start of legal sales back to January 1, 2022 from October 1 of this year. That would apply to existing medical cannabis dispensaries and microbusinesses, with sales for other retailers set to start September 2022. The substitute also removes language earmarking tax revenue for a community reinvestment fund and a low-income patient subsidy program. The fund accounts will still be created, but it would be up to lawmakers to steer money to them in future sessions once cannabis revenue starts coming in. Other modifications include new language on regulatory authority for the cannabis market, allowing health and safety inspections of businesses, addressing workplace and employment issues, replacing fines and fees for youth who violate the law with a civil infraction penalty,…

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Source : Another New Mexico House Committee Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill

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