If the proposal to legalize cannabis in New Mexico prospers, income would be used to help medical cannabis patients
On Wednesday, a proposal to legalize cannabis in New Mexico was presented. The state would use taxes to finance purchases of medical marijuana for low-income patients and set aside money for the police and loans to newly created cannabis companies. A panel appointed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham published recommendations for legalization that follow the rules of other states that regulate recreational marijuana markets.
According to Pat Davis, the councilor of the city of Albuquerque who led the governor’s work team, the proposal to legalize cannabis would not allow local governments to prohibit the sale of recreational marijuana, although restrictions on schedules and locations could apply of business. The proposal to legalize cannabis in NM is designed to fight against the black market and prevent marijuana buyers from traveling to other distant places. The proposals to legalize cannabis will now go to the Legislature for approval. Davis said several elements would differentiate New Mexico from other states, especially by protecting his medical marijuana program from a possible exodus of patients to other states.
With the legalization of cannabis in NM, part of the income from recreational marijuana would be used to reinvest in medical marijuana patients without financial resources and also help the state police. Medical marijuana currently has an average tax of 7%. But it would be tax free according to the proposal to legalize recreational marijuana. Millions of dollars would be allocated to finance cannabis for low-income patients with medical conditions such as cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder or chronic pain.
All licensed recreational marijuana businesses would be required to serve the medical marijuana market, with priority given to patients when supplies are scarce. The recommendations of the 23-member working group set the stage for legalizing recreational use and sale of marijuana when the state Legislature meets in January.
Governor Lujan Grisham has made her support for recreational marijuana depend on finding ways to protect children and ensure road safety as well as effective regulation of consumption in the workplace
The work team that has written the terms of the proposal to legalize cannabis in New Mexico has recommended a ban on marijuana advertisements on television, radio and mobile devices. Non-smoking marijuana products should be labeled to show the concentration of THC to avoid accidents linked to involuntary doses of THC. Legal marijuana will be treated as alcohol when it comes to the workplace. Workers now have to be able to demonstrate that a long period of time has elapsed between the use of psychoactive cannabis and work tasks.
In order to pay for security issues, a special tax of 10% on recreational marijuana was suggested, with income divided equally between state and local governments. Combined this special tax with sales and commercial transaction taxes, it would mean an average increase of 17% for marijuana. The cannabis legalization work team in New Mexico estimates annual revenues of $ 55 million, a figure that, according to officials, could double in five years.
The creation of a cannabis risk fund would provide loans to small, low-income family businesses to start marijuana businesses and offer professional training in the cannabis industry in public schools. According to the recommendations it would continue to be illegal to grow marijuana at home without a specialized medical authorization, and minor infractions are decriminalized. The working group approved the automatic elimination of previous convictions for cannabis possession as well as the elimination of criminal records for non-violent crimes of possession of marijuana. Currently medical marijuana patients must register to obtain a cannabis cultivation license to grow up to 16 plants at a time, a figure that includes only four mature flowering plants to be harvested.