New Mexico


NM lawmakers face looming challenge to marijuana legalization

fields of growing plants in outdoor dome

This year's 60-day legislative session has 20 days left, and lawmakers in the Senate have four proposals to consider.

On Saturday, members of the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee hashed out those initiatives with the bills' sponsors for nearly four hours. It was the first time the bills received a hearing in the Senate — a point brought up by Sen. Craig Brandt, R-Rio Rancho.

"This was supposed to be a priority issue and yet we have 20 days left and we’re just hearing it," he said, urging his fellow members on the committee to move at least one of the four bills forward to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration to get the ball rolling. 


New Mexico legalization bill for recreational use cannabis clears House committee

marijuana leaf with a faded shadow of a justice scale

A House legislative committee on Monday debated two bills legalizing cannabis for recreational use in New Mexico, ultimately sending one along to the House Taxation Revenue Committee and tabling the other. 

HB 12 and HB 17 both would have legalized cannabis for recreational use in New Mexico while taking different approaches to licensing and regulation. The bills were compared and debated at length in hearings on Saturday and Monday. 

Democratic state Reps. Tara Lujan of Santa Fe and Roger Montoya of Velarde cosponsored the latter bill, which was tabled on a 7-4 vote, effectively killing it, though committee members encouraged them to offer amendments incorporating aspects of their bill into HB 12. 


NM lawmakers faced with a number of proposals to legalize cannabis

new jersey state building

New Mexicans who are following the push by many lawmakers to legalize recreational-use cannabis now have plenty of reading material. 

Legislators have filed four legalization bills, two of which have identical language. All of the bills have the same general goal, but with different paths to get there and varying standards of what would and wouldn’t be allowed in a post-legalization New Mexico. Passage of any of the bills is still not a guarantee and given the history of previous cannabis legalization proposals and the legislative process in general, it is likely some pieces of the differing bills will be absorbed into one final bill.


5 States That Might Legalize Marijuana in 2021

In 2020, the number of states that ended pot prohibition reached 15 (and the District of Columbia), as voters in four states—Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota—legalized marijuana through the initiative process. Since 2021 is not an election year, any states that attempt to legalize marijuana this year will have to go through the much more cumbersome legislative process, but at least a handful of them are poised to do so.


New Mexico Cannabis Legalization Bill May Be Coming Soon

flat lay of cannabis buds, vape and plant

New Mexico could be one of the next states to join the green wave as state lawmakers prepare a measure to legalize recreational marijuana for adults. Rep. Javier Martinez, a Democrat from Albuquerque, said recently that the legislation should be ready to introduce in the state legislature soon.

“It’s a big, complicated bill,” Martinez said. “We are wrapping up the final touches. This is a bill, at this point, five years in the making.”


New Mexico: Medical cannabis producer asks court to enforce order to ensure adequate supply

cannabis buds

New Mexico’s largest medical cannabis producer is asking a state District Court to enforce a judge’s 2018 order for the Department of Health to ensure medical cannabis patients have an adequate supply.

New Mexico Top Organics-Ultra Health alleges in a motion filed Wednesday in First Judicial District Court the state agency has not only failed to ensure an increasing number of patients have enough legally grown cannabis but also has failed to develop a sound method to determine the state’s supply needs and has made decisions on producer limits in a “retaliatory” manner.

“Producers are attempting to meet the needs of 104,000 + patients with the same supply intended for 75,000 patients,” Ultra Health says in its complaint.


New Mexico inmates' right to medical marijuana affirmed

doctors stethoscope and marijuana leaf

A state district judge in Albuquerque ruled this week that Bernalillo County's Metropolitan Detention Center must allow qualifying patients access to medical marijuana, in a victory for advocates that could have far-reaching implications for jails and prisons.

It was unclear whether correctional facilities statewide would voluntarily comply with the ruling. But state Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D- Albuquerque, an attorney who represented a defendant in the DWI case that led to the decision, said he intends to send notice to jails and prisons asking them to comply.


New Mexico Considering Expanding Medical Cannabis Program

Medical marijuana patients in New Mexico may soon be able to purchase a larger amount of cannabis. 


Election revives recreational pot initiatives in New Mexico

State legislators are rekindling efforts to open New Mexico to recreational marijuana production and sales, with an emphasis on economic opportunity amidst the turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic.

State Rep. Javier Martinez told a panel of lawmakers Tuesday that he will introduce legislation in 2021 to regulate and tax recreational marijuana, hewing closely to a proposal that won House approval earlier this year but died in the Senate without a floor vote.

Elections this year ousted several conservative-leaning Democratic state senators who opposed past legalization efforts. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham last week reiterated her support for recreational marijuana as an opportunity to expand and diversify the state economy.


New Mexico: Recreational marijuana could generate up to $800 million a year, according to new estimates

State lawmakers received new estimates on how much money the state could generate from legalizing recreation marijuana. The latest projections show a large increase from the previous estimate.

Recreational marijuana will be back on the table when the 60-day legislative session starts Jan. 19.

"I believe the time is now, I believe New Mexico is at the cusp of being a national leader in recreational cannabis legalization and am I looking forward to making that happen,” said Rep. Javier Martinez (D-District 11).

Rep. Martinez will be leading the effort. Lawmakers got an update on the process during a Tuesday committee meeting.


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