The New Mexico Senate passed legislation Feb. 14 that would make changes to the state’s adult-use cannabis law, according to NM Political Report.
S.B. 100 would increase plant count limits for cannabis microbusinesses from 200 to 1,000, as well as allow those licensees to buy, sell and transport cannabis from other companies.
An emergency rule went into effect last month to temporarily allow New Mexico’s licensed cannabis producers to double their plant count from 10,000 to 20,000 mature plants, but the production limit for microbusinesses must be increased legislatively since it is set in statute in the Cannabis Regulation Act that legalized adult-use cannabis.
S.B. 100 would also allow New Mexico’s medical cannabis businesses, which have been required to register as nonprofit organizations, to operate as for-profit companies, according to NM Political Report.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill Feb. 13 after Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R-Roswell) added an amendment to eliminate a requirement that cannabis license applicants must show proof of water rights as a condition of licensure.
Sen. Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque), a sponsor of S.B. 100, was the only lawmaker to vote against Pirtle’s amendment at the Judiciary Committee hearing, and tried to further amend the bill to include language requiring cannabis companies to “demonstrate” that they have legal access to water, according to NM Political Report.
After an hour of debate, however, Lopez’s amendment was shot down in a 19-20 vote, the news outlet reported, and Pirtle put forth a new, more simplified amendment to address water rights. Under Pirtle’s new language, the state could revoke a cannabis license if “a licensee is using water to which the licensee does not have a legal right,” according to NM Political Report.
Pirtle’s new amendment passed in a 20-11 vote, the news outlet reported, and after clearing the Senate in a floor vote, S.B. 100 now goes to the New Mexico House for consideration.