New Mexico Moving to Legalize Cannabis with Pre-filed bills

New Mexico Moving to Legalize Cannabis with Pre-filed bills

New Mexico is making headlines on its advancements toward the legalization of cannabis on a recreational level. Two cannabis legalization bills have been pre-rolled, er we meant pre-filed in New Mexico, within one week after Governor Lujan Grisham requested for the reforms during her State of the State address. The bills were arranged by Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-NM) and Cliff Pirtle (R-NM) earlier this week. Let’s take a look at the New Mexico Cannabis Regulation Act.

The New Mexico Cannabis Regulation Act

Politically referred to as Senate Bill 13 and Senate Bill 288, the Cannabis Regulation Act of New Mexico would ultimately legalize cannabis for adult recreational use in the state. According to the abstract of the bill, Senate Bill 13 and Senate Bill 288, cannabis would also be taxed (as to be expected) while creating a multitude of assistance funds for a variety of communities.

What these bills mean for legalization

If Senate Bills 288 and 13 are approved, calls for cannabis industry rules and regulations to be declared no later than September 1 of this year with licenses production expected to be issued no later than a year after that, meaning Sept. 1, 2022. Moreover, under these laws, regulations surrounding cannabis cultivation licenses are to be fully defined by June 1, 2022. The bill also allows municipal control and would grant the social consumption of cannabis for adults. The bill includes guidelines similar to other states with cannabis for adult-use laws. 

Moreover, the provision also includes a ban on edibles that could attract children, testing, bans on certain types of advertisements, and limits on the distance between dispensaries and from schools, churches, parks, playgrounds, and community centers with youth programs. 

The bills also include provisions concerning cannabis-related offenses and expungement under the new law. Senator Ivey-Soto’s proposition incorporates many of the same shields as the strategy outlined by the republicans. However, the bills also would establish a Medical Cannabis Assistance Fund concerning low-income medical cannabis patients to be completely funded by taxes acquired from cannabis sales. The measure proposes for all of this to be in effect no later than January of 2022. 

Limits associated with SB 13 & 288

The proposal sets possession limits at 2 ounces of cannabis flower and 16 grams of cannabis concentrates. Both Senate Bill 288 and 13 keep intact provisions of the state’s medical cannabis law that allow for home cultivation. SB 13 and SB 288 are to be sent to the New Mexico Chamber of Taxation, Business and Transportation Committee.

Current cannabis limitations in New Mexico

SB13 and SB288 are not the first bills relative to cannabis to be heard or passed in New Mexico. The state has had access to medical cannabis for a few years. According to Senate Bill 323, which was enacted in 2019, adults found in possession of up to ½ oz of cannabis are subject to be fined a maximum of $50. First-time offenders found to be in possession of more than ½ oz and up to one ounce may be charged with a misdemeanor. This misdemeanor could also result in up to 15 days in jail and a fine upward of $100.

Repeat offenders in possession of the aforementioned amount may also be charged with a misdemeanor. However, these offenders are subject to be penalized with up to a year in prison, and a fine upward of $1000. Similar to other states, possessing more amounts than otherwise listed can result in harsher fines and more prison time. Expect an update on Senate Bill 13 and Senate Bill 288 within a few months.

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