Two related pieces of legislation – one which legalizes recreational cannabis for adults 21 and older in New Mexico and the second which expunges arrest and conviction records for some cannabis offenses – are heading to the governor’s desk after gaining lawmakers’ approval.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham praised the bills, saying they would bolster the economy and help those who have been harmed by the “country’s failed war on drugs.”
The Cannabis Regulation Act sets up licensing and regulation procedures for the production and sales of cannabis products and adds a tax for retailers.
Retail sales of those products are set to begin no later than April 1, 2022, according to the bill. It also sets limits on how much cannabis, cannabis extract or edibles a person can buy or have outside their home at a time.
The governor called the passage of the bill a “significant victory” for the state, adding “my signing pen is ready.”
The second bill expunges the criminal records of people arrested or convicted for cannabis acts that would no longer be illegal under the new legislation.
“This important legislation accompanies the legalization of cannabis and will ensure that New Mexico ends the harmful long-term impacts of cannabis conviction records, enabling New Mexicans to build better futures,” the governor said.
The impending legalization in New Mexico follows on New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Wednesday allowing recreational marijuana use by adults 21 and older after the state Senate and Assembly voted to approve the legislation.