A panel of legislators analyzed the economic uncertainties surrounding the legalization of cannabis for recreational use and the thorny public health concerns on Wednesday. Ahead of a legislative session that could pave the way for recreational cannabis in New Mexico.
Both sides of the argument
For instance,the working group on legalization proposes a regulation that would limit local taxes on recreational cannabis . To about 17% and distribute production licenses for only $500 per month, with additional fees per plant.
Medical cannabis would not be taxed and sold separately in all clinics, in order to ensure affordable access for patients suffering from conditions such as nausea and cancer pain. About 78,000 people participate in the state’s medical program.
So,at a public hearing, legislators heard Sarah Stith, Professor of Economics at the University of New Mexico. Give a negative opinion against legalization measures that could make retail prices non-competitive, either through supply restrictions or excessive taxation.
“You can’t raise taxes too high otherwise, consumers will stay on the black market,” she said.
Working Group Chair Pat Davis, a member of Albuquerque City Council, told legislators that he should expect more than $50 million in tax revenue from adult cannabis sales, and at least $94 million once the market stabilized in five years.
Also,he highlighted the economic development potential of rural farming communities. And the possibility of having a $5 million reserve for local law enforcement. Public safety measures such as clearly identifiable labeling of THC-containing products, particularly to prevent access by children.
In fact,none of them convinced Republican State representative Martin Zamora to make any progress on legalization. So,he opposed new missions imposed on law enforcement. Said cannabis producers would not be immune to economic losses and discussed the possibilities of a pregnant woman consuming cannabis.
But,in response, representative Antonio Maestas of Albuquerque said that for cannabis, “the ban simply does not work”.
A bipartisan bill on legalization this year approved by the House before it reached the Senate. Both chambers are controlled by democratic majorities.
Democratic Senate Speaker Mary Kay Papen said Wednesday that she was “not really enthusiastic” about legalization but that she might change her mind.
Papen, also,said that a significant portion of the tax revenue from the sale of cannabis should be allocated .
In addition,legislators under the direction of Democratic Representative Javier Martinez Albuquerque . Are currently preparing a bill on the legalization of the 2020 state legislative session, limited to 30 days from January.
However,Lujan Grisham expressed his own concerns about recreational cannabis use, road and workplace safety, and access to products for children.