Legislature: It’s No Joke – Cannabis Legalization In New Mexico Is One Signature Away


The legalization of adult-use cannabis in New Mexico is only one signature away from reality, following the House of Representatives’ concurrence last night with an amendment made in the Senate to House Bill 2: the Cannabis Regulation Act. The measure will now make its way to the desk of Governor Lujan Grisham, who has been supportive of cannabis legalization.  

Establishing a responsible, tightly regulated system for the use, production, and sale of cannabis and cannabis products for adults 21 years and older, the Cannabis Regulation Act is sponsored by Reps. Javier Martínez (D-Albuquerque)Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe), Deborah Armstrong (D-Albuquerque)Senator Katy Duhigg (D-Albuquerque), and Senate Majority Whip Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque). The bill establishes a 12% excise tax on all cannabis sales and sets guidelines for licensure that prioritize diversity and equal opportunity.   

Adult-use cannabis in New Mexico is projected to bring in $318 million in sales and $28.6 million in tax revenue in the first year alone, along with creating more than 11,000 new jobs.  

The Senate amendment establishes a restriction that legislators cannot secure a commercial license for three years after the bill is enacted.  

“This is a momentous victory for the state that will benefit New Mexicans for generations to come,” said Rep. Martínez. “The Cannabis Regulation Act not only establishes a multi-million dollar industry that will strengthen New Mexico’s economy, but it also takes into account smart measures that ensure equitability and social justice. I’m so thrilled that this long-sought and hard-fought dream will soon become a reality for our state.”  

“New Mexico has always been at the forefront of innovation related to cannabis, from initial studies into the medical use of cannabis, to fighting the injustices caused by its criminalization,”  said Rep. Romero. “That will continue with today’s passage of House Bill 2, a New Mexico-built solution that will get this economic game-changer and social justice correction measure off the ground and working for our state.” 

“Legalizing cannabis in New Mexico is ultimately a matter of public health. When we regulate an industry, we can control the quality, protect consumers, and bring down the dangerous black market in our state,” said Rep. Armstrong. “This bill has been researched, written, and then rewritten to account for concerns of various stakeholders, leading to the robust, New Mexico-tailored, forward-thinking piece of legislation we passed today.”  

According to recent polling, 74% of New Mexicans support the legalization of adult-use cannabis, and thanks to the tireless work by the bill’s current and past sponsors, advocates, and community members. House Bill 2, The Cannabis Regulation Act will regulate the sales of cannabis beginning no later than April 2022.