New Mexico Cannabis Bill Aims to Curtail Unregulated Market

January 17, 2024 · Ganjapreneur

As New Mexico marks the two-year anniversary of legalizing recreational cannabis, state lawmakers are actively revisiting the regulations governing its sale and use. Spearheaded by Senator Katy Duhigg (D-Albuquerque), the legislative body is set to introduce a comprehensive bill that aims to refine and enhance existing cannabis laws, according to a report from local news outlet KRQE.

A key focus of the bill is the burgeoning illegal cannabis market within New Mexico. Senator Duhigg highlighted the challenges posed by illegal cannabis, particularly with products entering from neighboring states. Duhigg estimates that illicit sales currently account for about one third of the New Mexico cannabis market: to combat this, the bill proposes a clear definition of illegal cannabis and escalates penalties for trafficking, with a special emphasis on repeat offenders.

The proposed legislation also seeks to empower the Cannabis Control Division (CCD) by granting it authority to seize illegal cannabis products found during investigations. This move is intended to prevent these products from filtering into the black market, thereby strengthening the legal cannabis industry.

According to the report, another significant change in the bill involves the easing of licensing restrictions. The initial laws prohibited holding both a cannabis and liquor license simultaneously. Duhigg’s bill revises this, allowing individuals to own licenses for both, though not permitting the serving of both substances at the same location. This change is intended to mitigate public safety risks while providing more flexibility for business owners.

The bill also introduces tighter controls on cannabis advertising and packaging. Aimed at reducing appeal to children, the new rules would ban cartoon imagery and require opaque packaging. While the former is a common regulation in state-legal markets, mandatory opaque packaging would be a more extreme restriction that could hinder consumers’ ability to choose which products to buy — likely benefiting brands that focus more on packaging and presentation than product quality.

Despite the limited duration of the 30-day legislative session, Senator Duhigg expressed optimism about the bill’s prospects. She emphasized the importance of these revisions for the numerous New Mexicans who rely on the cannabis industry for their livelihood. (Full Story)

In category:State Bills
Tags:
Next Post

Ohio Governor Demands Delta-8 Crackdown as Part of Cannabis Legislation

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called for state lawmakers to ban “intoxicating hemp” goods, including all delta-8 products, as part of their work on amending Issue 2, the ballot measure that legalized recreational marijuana last November. On Wednesday, DeWine said at a press…
Read
Previous Post

Oregon House Republicans Release Proposal To Recriminalize Drug Possession, Reversing Voter-Approved Measure 110

Oregon House Republican lawmakers on Thursday released details of a proposal that would end Measure 110 by mandating misdemeanor penalties for drug possession and treatment to avoid jail. House Republicans want to make possession of small amounts of fentanyl, heroin…
Read
Random Post

Key congressional races the marijuana industry should watch

The 2022 midterm elections are right around the corner, and the outcome could prove incredibly important to U.S. marijuana businesses. If Republicans take control of at least one of the two chambers of Congress – as is largely expected to…
Read
Random Post

Washington State Psychedelic Therapies Bill Pared Down to Pilot Program

A bill to allow psychedelic therapies in Washington state has stalled, but lawmakers are considering legislation to allow military veterans and first responders to access a pilot program for the treatment, the Seattle Times reports. The pilot program bill has passed the…
Read
Random Post

Twitch Bans Cannabis Product Advertising Despite Allowing Alcohol Ads

Cannabis companies cannot buy advertising or otherwise sponsor streamers on the popular online streaming platform Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, after the company updated its branding policies earlier this month. Notably, Twitch’s new branded content policy does allow for the promotion…
Read
Random Post

Virginia Cannabis Sales Unlikely to Launch Under Gov. Youngkin’s Administration

The administration of Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has no plans to allow adult-use cannabis sales to commence in the state while he is in office, the Daily Progress reports. Adult-use cannabis sales were expected to begin in 2024 under a law…
Read