NM House approves adult-use cannabis bill combining state, private retailers

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The New Mexico House narrowly approved a compromise bill that would allow the sales of recreational marijuana through a combination of state-run and private stores.

The compromise legislation OK’d Thursday incorporates features of a Senate bill that called for state-run stores and tight restrictions with what was initially a much more business-friendly House version.

“There is still room in the proposal for private enterprise,” Jessica Gelay, a Santa Fe-based policy manager for the national advocacy group Drug Policy Alliance, told Marijuana Business Daily on Friday.

Gelay noted that although the state would run much of the retail business, the bill would allow private stores as long as they weren’t located within 25 miles of a state store in the same county.

Under the measure, cannabis and derivative products also would be cultivated and processed by private license holders, she said.

The bill passed by a 36-34 margin after a late-night debate. No Republican voted for the measure.

The bill now goes to the Democratic-controlled Senate for consideration.

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has expressed guarded support for recreational marijuana legislation that addresses concerns about child access, road safety and safeguarding the state’s existing medical cannabis market.

Recreational marijuana sales would be subject to at least a 17% sales tax rate, which would reflect state, county and municipal taxes and a 4% cannabis sales tax.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily