New Mexico’s other House Commission has passed a reform to authorize cannabis within its borders.
The Taxation and Revenue caucus, chaired by the reform’s sponsor Representative Martinez Javier, approved the proposal during Wednesday in an 8-4 ‘pass’ vote. This comes seven days after the Human and Health Services commission ascended the bill.
According to the reform, 21 and older adults would enjoy legal possession of not more than two ounces of marijuana and cultivate up to 6 immature and 6 mature crops for private consumption. Also, it would set up a system of taxed and regulated marijuana sales.
Unlike other Senate and House measures that were unveiled during this session, the proposal is seconded by bill activists since it would uniquely use tax proceeds from cannabis sales to fund reinvestments in areas severely affected by the Drug War. It’s also unique since it features provisions to autonomously expunge prior MJ convictions.
Martinez’s bill would call for market regulations before being enactment by early 2022.
The commission approved a different version that entails multiple amendments, such as postponing the beginning of legal cannabis sales to 1st Januarys 2022 from 1st October this year. This would apply to current marijuana micro-businesses and dispensaries, while other retailers’ sales are slated to begin in September next year.
The other version also eradicates the text that allocates tax revenue for social equity funding and a poor-income patient grant project. Although the fund accounts would still be formed, legislators will allocate funds to them in future legislative sessions once marijuana revenue starts trickling in.
Other amendments include new text on a regulatory body for the marijuana market, allowing safety and health business inspections, addressing employment and workplace concerns, replacing fines and fees for youth who breach the law with civil infraction penalties, adjusting cannabis state excise tax, and so on.