Government promises fairness in nascent cannabis industry »Albuquerque Journal


ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico – The day after New Mexico officially became the 17th state to legalize recreational cannabis, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham praised industry advocates in the public for their role in bringing about legalization and pledged to help create an industry that would include New Mexicans from across the state.

“We are going to provide equity, not only to New Mexicans who are engaged in this economic opportunity, but to entire rural communities who I know are represented here today,” said Lujan Grisham during the presentation. first day of the New Mexico Cannabis Legalization Conference.

The two-day event at the Albuquerque Convention Center was designed to bring together hundreds of cannabis industry professionals and potential entrepreneurs.

Cannabis became legal on Tuesday for New Mexico adults over the age of 21 to grow and own.

The equity and social justice provisions related to the legalization of cannabis were key battlegrounds during the regular and special legislative sessions of 2021. The list of bills ultimately enacted by the governor includes provisions removing all arrests or conviction for now legal conduct of the state court records and providing a number of microenterprise licenses designed to allow small producers to enter the new industry.

Lujan Grisham said the state’s approach was designed to include small communities outside of the Interstate 25 corridor, which are often excluded from statewide initiatives.

“And all these other bright, brilliant, energetic New Mexicans, generations of families not only in the agricultural world but in a number of fields, do not have the same opportunities,” she said.

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Lujan Grisham was just one of a series of speakers at the legalization conference, which drew hundreds of attendees and several dozen vendors hawking products down the halls. On the first day, state officials, politicians and industry leaders held panel discussions and answered questions about the new industry, ranging from details on water use rights to requirements. in terms of licensing.

During an afternoon panel, Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, acknowledged that the industry is in a phase of transition, in which cannabis is legal but cannot be purchased from recreational purposes only after finalization of state rules. But Maestas said he believes the process will ultimately work better than immediately jumping into the fray. Under state law, the state may allow retail sales to begin no later than April 1, 2022.

“Either we do it all overnight and it’s just a hit to everyone, or we do it in a responsible, methodical way, respecting the medical cannabis patients,” Maestas said.

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