New Mexico gov signs adult-use marijuana legalization bill into law

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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday signed a bill legalizing a potential $425 million adult-use marijuana market in the state.

Retail sales are to begin no later than April 1, 2022.

The New Mexico law reflects the national trend to emphasize small businesses and social equity.

Lawmakers had passed the bill during a recent, two-day special session of the Legislature.

Lujan Grisham called for the special session after legislation had stalled during the regular session.

The newly released 2021 Marijuana Business Factbook projects that a recreational market in New Mexico will generate $150 million in sales in its first full year and $425 million annually by the fourth year.

That marked a slight increase from initial projections of $125 million in the first year and $350 million annually by the fourth year.

House member Javier Martinez, an Albuquerque Democrat and one of the sponsors of the bill, said during the special session that the measure will provide opportunities for small businesses and also allow them to be vertically integrated.

“We want to make sure we’re not just creating an industry for the wealthy people,” he said.

Other elements of the adult-use bill include:

  • An excise tax of 12% on retail sales of marijuana products, on top of local and state sales taxes that range from 5% to 9%. The excise tax would increase over time to 18%.
  • A requirement for the state to create rules that ensure licensing diversity.
  • A provision allowing municipalities to limit adult-use operations but not opt out altogether.
  • A mechanism for Native American communities to participate in the recreational market through agreements with regulators.

A summary of the bill by Marijuana Policy Project is available here.