The New Mexico Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-3 on Feb. 13 to approve legislation that would make several changes to the state’s adult-use cannabis law, according to NM Political Report.
Senate Bill 100, sponsored by State Sen. Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe), would increase production limits for cannabis microbusinesses from 200 plants to 1,000 plants, as well as allow microbusinesses to wholesale products, the news outlet reported.
Regulation and Licensing Superintendent Linda Trujillo told lawmakers during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that increasing the production limits will help ensure an adequate supply of medical cannabis for the state’s patient base, according to NM Political Report.
Last month, an emergency rule went into effect to allow New Mexico’s licensed cannabis producers to double their plant count from 10,000 to 20,000 mature plants, but the limit for microbusinesses must be increased legislatively since it is set in statute in the state’s adult-use cannabis law.
“Now when you start comparing a business that can do 20,000, in comparison to a business that can do 200, there is just no equity there,” Trujillo said at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. “It’s almost impossible to compete like that.”
In addition, an amendment to S.B. 100, put forth by Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R-Roswell), aims to eliminate a requirement that cannabis license applicants must show proof of water rights as a condition of licensure.
“It’s really just unnecessary red tape,” Pirtle told committee members at the hearing. “It’s already illegal to use water if you don’t have a legal right to it. So, it really doesn’t make sense to then have to prove that you have a legal right to water, it’s already illegal to pump water and grow corn instead, as opposed to cannabis or any other type of plants.”
Lopez was the only lawmaker to vote against Pirtle’s amendment, according to NM Political Report.
S.B. 100 now goes to the Senate floor for a vote. New Mexico’s 30-day legislative session ends Feb. 17.