New Mexico one step closer to legalizing recreational marijuana

Las Cruces News

The State of New Mexico is now even closer to becoming the 11th state to allow non-medical use of marijuana. 

House Bill 365 would make recreational use of cannabis legal. It passed through the New Mexico House of Representatives Thursday night, but the bill has seen a lot of changes in the 24-hours following its passage.

Some of the changes included in the bill involve making recreational marijuana fully state-run, meaning all dispensaries selling cannabis must be run through the state, and private shops would be prohibited. Other changes include requiring the buyer to have solid proof of their cannabis purchase if marijuana is in their possession.

New Mexico State Representative Rebecca Dow tells KTSM this is the reason the bill is gaining so much support from the government.

“The reason it’s gaining bipartisan support is that you could not just open stores anywhere, a state commission would determine where a store would open when the store would open, and it would be run by the state and not privately owned,” Dow said. 

If the bill is passed, annual tax revenue from marijuana sales is expected to surpass $50 million in the first year. In the next step, the New Mexico Senate has until March 16 to pass the bill. Once passed, the bill would go into effect on July 1, 2020. 

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