New Mexico Lawmakers Introduce Competing Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Proposals

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Two New Mexico senators introduced competing adult-use cannabis legalization proposals Feb. 1, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Albuquerque) has sponsored S.B. 13, which would leave New Mexico’s existing medical cannabis program in place and establish a new Cannabis Regulatory Office within the state’s Regulation and Licensing Department to oversee an adult-use program, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

The legislation levies a 21% tax on adult-use cannabis sales, according to the news outlet, and revenues would be split evenly between the state, counties and cities.

Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R-Roswell) introduced a competing measure, S.B. 288, which would create the Cannabis Control Commission to regulate an adult-use industry in the state, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. Dispensaries would have to be located at least one mile apart under Pirtle’s proposal, and adult-use cannabis would be taxed between 13% and 15%, depending on the rate set by each jurisdiction. The legislation would give cities and counties each 4% of the revenue, with the remaining funds directed to the state, according to the news outlet.

Additional adult-use cannabis legalization bills are expected in the coming days, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

“At this moment, there are at least three or four other proposals that will be introduced,” Ivey-Soto told the news outlet. “At the end of it all, we’re going to figure out how to pass one. That means that none of these bills is going to make it through without amendments and without collaboration with other people.”

Adult-use legalization has stalled in the New Mexico Legislature in the past, but voters did not reelect some more conservative lawmakers in the 2020 election who historically opposed the issue, and lawmakers now see a path forward for policy reform efforts during this year’s 60-day legislative session.

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