Recreational cannabis sales in New Mexico are a year away, but Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is already considering ways for the state to lead the innovation market.
One idea she co-opted from her communications director is a kind of fusion of cannabis and Chile.
“It’s the kind of thing that would be iconic for a state like this,” said Lujan Grisham. “And there are so many places where we can lead the country and the world in incredibly new ways to consume and use cannabis.”
Growing Forward, the collaborative podcast between NM Political Report and New Mexico PBS, spoke to New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday about adult cannabis in New Mexico and some of the specifics that come with legalizing it.
The Cannabis Regulatory Act, which Lujan Grisham signed earlier this month, won’t go into effect until June 29, and sales won’t start until April 2022. However, the state regulatory and licensing department that will oversee cannabis regulation is already being put together an advisory committee and ready to start the licensing process this fall.
Lujan Grisham said her role during the implementation process will be to “keep this moving” to ensure the state meets its deadlines.
“My job will be to make sure they stay on the right track.” Said Lujan Grisham. “If there are problems that we did not recognize early on and that are raised as a result, I find vehicles to solve these problems.”
The RLD has already called on applicants for the Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee, which by law must be set up by September. One of the qualifications on this committee is not to be associated with an existing business in the medical cannabis industry. One reason for this, said Lujan Grisham, is to keep things objective. But, she said, there will be opportunities for existing companies to weigh up while RLD works out rules.
“We want a certain distance to an industry with which we have to have an objective supervisory function. However, we want their expertise and make sure we don’t create a standard that minimizes the quality of a robust industry and is fully committed at any number of levels in the state of New Mexico, ”said Lujan Grisham.
And while the state prepares for a recreational cannabis market, the state’s tax and tax department prepares for a case in the state’s Supreme Court that will deal with medicinal cannabis sales and gross income taxes. According to the state, gross income taxes were not deductible from the sale of medicinal cannabis. Despite the Cannabis Regulatory Act, which provides that future sales of medicinal cannabis are deductible, Lujan Grisham said the state is continuing the case because the previous law did not have the same specificity.
“This is an area where there is clarity because otherwise you have a department that makes estimates based on what they believe or not to be legislative intent,” said Lujan Grisham. “You would enable a department to be challenged all the time to make arbitrary and capricious decisions as they guess or take the side of the taxpayer.”
But she said “philosophically” she can see where patients and medicinal cannabis producers are from.
“Medical cannabis is medicine,” said Lujan Grisham.