During a press conference on April 22, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham expressed regret in not passing the recreational cannabis bill that potentially would have amounted to $100 million dollars of revenue to a dying budget due to COVID- 19.
Gov. Lujan Grisham stated, “I wish we had passed recreational cannabis.” The Cannabis Regulation Act, SB 115, was tabled during the January congressional session with a 6-4 vote by the Judiciary Committee. At an earlier press conference the Governor stated that legalization in New Mexico is inevitable and that our economy demands it.
With stay-at-home orders and mass layoffs, our economy demands it more than ever. The Governor offered hope with the announcement of a special session set for mid-June to discuss budgetary measures. She stated that by 2021 we can expect a dramatic reduction in our state revenue. This is more than obvious as you drive down Central and notice that your favorite bar, restaurant, insert business here, is boarded up having fallen to The Rona.
While most businesses are frantically looking for answers, the cannabis industry is still going strong. One bud-tender offered that sales have doubled, even on the slowest days. This may be due to the overwhelming stress and depression New Mexicans are feeling faced with fear of the unknown. $100 million dollars would go a long way in lifting that fear.
If cannabis sales are soaring, even in this depleting market, it would make sense to take another look at the recreational cannabis bill during the upcoming session. Is this a possibility? The Governor did not not confirm nor deny any such measures.