The state's Legislative session finally wrapped up last week. How does the future of New Mexico look? Well you know me, dear reader—I'm an optimist to the bitter, cursing end.
But it's a little easier this year. Gov. Susana Martinez (bless her heart) is on the way out, and there's a good chance her seat will be taken by a pro-cannabis candidate. Meanwhile—you can feel the envious gazes of our state's lawmakers creeping toward the coffers of Colorado and California, seeing all those dollars piling up on schools and infrastructure.
Maybe that's why members of the Senate Rules Committee voted 4-3 in favor of taxing and regulating legalized cannabis in New Mexico earlier this month. Senate Joint Resolution 4 (SJR 4), introduced by Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, would legalize the possession and use of cannabis by anyone over 21 and allow for the regulation of its production, sale and taxation. Senators Lopez, Ortiz y Pino, Ivey-Soto and Steinborn all voted in favor of the resolution; Senators Papen, Moores and Pirtle voted against it.
If the resolution had gone on to the Senate floor for a vote, then over to the House, it would have been on the 2018 ballot, but the bastard was left in limbo by the Senate Judiciary Committee, effectively killing it for this year. But not to worry. This isn't the first time Ortiz y Pino has introduced resolutions to legalize, and I doubt it will be the last.
And if a pro-cannabis governor takes the reins after the 2018 general election, you can almost count on legalization the next time around (knock wood).
The Health Department is saying Mother Earth Herbs submitted falsified audit reports and is reportedly moving to revoke their license. If that happens, it will be the first time a producer has lost its license since the program began.
Vivian Moore, executive director of Mother Earth Herbs, reportedly received a letter in early January informing her that the Health Department planned to revoke the producer’s license and ban Moore from working for any other program licensee. According to the letter—sent by the state's medical cannabis director Kenny Vigil—the program's office received a complaint from a certified public accountant who was named as the author of a 2015 audit submitted on behalf of Mother Earth Herbs by Moore. Vigil says the CPA is alleging that the report was falsified, and he had neither completed nor signed the audit. The letter also claims the last time the CPA conducted an audit for the producer was in 2013, though he is again listed as the author of a 2014 audit.
Vigil's letter also claims that Moore failed to meet deadlines given by state officials to produce audit-related receipts and other documentation related to the investigation.
Mother Earth Herbs denies the allegation and is contesting the Health Department's move. An attorney representing the producer says the documentation requested by the Health Department is currently being compiled.
So, I made it through another birthday last week. I faced the terror of aging with what I believe to be at least a modicum of grace—noting the lines forming around my eyes quietly to myself with little fuss.
I was picking up a few grams from Everest Apothecary when my budtender told me to take a spin on the prize wheel (they actually have one of those) for my birthday. “My … birthday?” Shit! I'd forgotten! I've spent the last year looking forward to a stack of free birthday cannabis (provided by most of the local dispensaries), but the depressing onslaught of time must have pushed it from my mind.
I ended up winning a free pre-roll with my spin and canceled my plans for the day.
Yes. And within six hours, I'd stacked up over half an ounce of free nuggets and joints. Nothing chases the b-day blues away like a week's worth of free cannabis. It's definitely one of the most beneficial local practices—not just for the patient, but for the dispensary, too. I got to see places and people I haven't seen in a while, and I even found out about a new store I'd missed.
Not all the shops offer a birthday program, but most do. (For a nearly complete list, check out last year's “What Matters Most” at alibi.com. Added to the list this year are MJ Express-O, Mother Earth Herbs (for as long as they're around), Sandia Botanicals and Sacred Garden.)