On April 12, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation legalizing adult recreational cannabis use and authorizing the expungement of some cannabis convictions.
“This legislation is a major, major step forward for our state. Legalized adult-use cannabis is going to change the way we think about New Mexico for the better — our workforce, our economy, our future,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement released the same day.
House Bill 2 (HB 2), the Cannabis Regulation Act, will allow individuals 21 years or older to legally purchase up to 2 oz (about 57 grams) of cannabis flower, 16 grams of extract and 800 mg of edibles at one time from a licensed retailer. Any more than said amount may not be possessed at one time outside of a private residence.
In addition, consumers will only be able to publicly smoke cannabis products in regulated, specified consumption areas.
Individuals can grow up to 12 mature cannabis plants at their residence for personal use, and cannabis producers can grow up to 200 mature cannabis plants at a licensed location. A yearly limit will be placed on how many cannabis plants a licensee may grow based on market analysis of supply and demand.
According to HB 2, retail sales of commercial cannabis will begin no later than April 1 of next year.
Senate Bill 2 (SB 2), the Expungement of Certain Criminal Records Act, could expunge cannabis convictions for “tens of thousands of New Mexicans,” according to a press release from the office of the governor.
“Thousands of people, and a disproportionate number of them from communities of color, have been wronged by this country’s failed war on drugs,” Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said. “We will all benefit from our state’s smart, fair and equitable new approach to past low-level convictions.”
Lujan Grisham has historically been a proponent of cannabis legalization, citing the economic potential of the recreational cannabis industry.
“We’re ready to break new ground. We’re ready to invest in ourselves and the limitless potential of New Mexicans,” Lujan Grisham said. “And we’re ready to get to work in making this industry a successful one.”
Gabriel Biadora is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @gabrielbiadora
Madeline Pukite is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @madelinepukite