New Mexico House Passes Adult-Use Cannabis Bill in Special Session; Senate Passes Expungement Measure

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<![CDATA[The New Mexico Legislature is working overtime, but adult-use cannabis legalization is now closer to reaching Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk after the House passed an amended bill and the Senate took up an expungement measure during a special session March 31. The lower chamber cleared the adult-use bill, 38-32, while the expungement measure for certain low-level cannabis convictions drew a 23-13 vote in the Senate, where the overall bill previously stalled during the legislature’s 60-day regular session that concluded March 20, which sparked Lujan Grisham’s call for the special session. One key amendment adopted in House Bill 2, which was a continuation of H.B. 12, the Cannabis Regulation Act that the body passed Feb. 26, includes raising the excise tax on cannabis products from 12% to 18% over the course of six years, beginning in 2024, according to chief sponsor Rep. Javier Martinez. Under the bill, roughly 4% of the excise would be distributed back to the local communities where the cannabis is sold, whether it’s a city or county municipality, Martinez said on the floor Wednesday. The House Tax Committee approved the amended excise tax portion of the bill during the first day of the special session on March 30. “As we embark on building a brand-new industry and we get to set the rules of the game for how this industry will play out … this is a good opportunity to actually raise revenue,” Martinez said. “If we’re going to do this, we might as well get the most we can get without overdoing it to the point where we are maybe undercutting our efforts to get rid of the illicit markets. So, that’s the number we settled on—18% excise tax.” According to Martinez, economic projections indicate that adult-use legalization would create more than 11,000 jobs and…

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Source : New Mexico House Passes Adult-Use Cannabis Bill in Special Session; Senate Passes Expungement Measure

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