A governor-appointed work group of 22 policy leaders from across New Mexico has finished drafting its recommendations on what an adult-use cannabis program should look like in the state and has submitted them to elected officials.
The recommendations focus on prioritizing the state’s medical cannabis patients, according to a local KOAT report.
“In other states, the recreational program just cannibalizes medical, and patients lose access because there’s a lot more money to be made on adult use,” Pat Davis, chairman of the work group, told the news outlet. “We’re saying, you can’t even go to adult use unless you take care of your medical patients first, and if there’s ever a shortage, patients are first in line and that’s because for them, it’s medicine; it’s not something fun to do on a Friday afternoon after work.”
The work group estimated that the state stands to generate more than $60 million in tax revenue from adult-use cannabis sales, KOAT reported, and recommended that law enforcement and public health programs receive a large portion of the proceeds.
“[Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham] is pleased that the working group incorporated her priorities for any potential legalization bill into their study, namely: Rigorous protections for the medical program, public safety and workplace concerns, clear labeling and other areas,” the governor’s office said in a public statement. “The governor will be reviewing the recommendations, and the next steps will be to incorporate the recommendations of this working group into balanced legislation and working to win the support of legislators and stakeholders ahead of the session.”
New Mexico’s next legislative session begins in January.