Albuquerque City councilors have been discussing whether to introduce local laws that will give authorities the ability to enforce state laws that ban public cannabis use. They’ve been unable to make a decision.
New Mexico began adult-use cannabis sales on April 1. The Albuquerque City Council met last week to discuss enforcing laws to keep cannabis use off the streets, but some councilors pointed out that the state’s Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA) already bars public consumption outside of pre-approved consumption sites and personal residences.
Some councilors say that the state laws aren’t enough, and that city law enforcement needs an avenue to enforce the laws. The proposed bill would not add any additional penalties to those that the state law already has in place.
The City Council agreed to postpone making a decision until the next council meeting on April 4.
Texans to Fuel N.M. Pot Market
MJBizDaily predicts that adult-use cannabis sales in New Mexico will reach $400 million within five years. The publication also says Texans will drive much of the profits.
New Mexico is projected to make between $100 million and $125 million in profits from the adult-use marijuana market in the first year. MJBizDaily predicts it will make $325 million to $400 million by 2027. A number of retailers are positioning their shops along the New Mexico-Texas border in an attempt to capture what is expected to be a deluge of Texas shoppers who will drive across the border to buy marijuana.
Cannabis has been decriminalized in Texas but it is still illegal to possess. The state has set up a medical cannabis program, but it is incredibly limited and patients are only given access to CBD products.
Texas has a population estimated around 29.9 million residents. The city of El Paso—less than 20 miles from the New Mexico border—has a population of around 0.6 million people.
Federal Legalization Bill to Receive House Vote
Washington insiders report that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler’s (D-N.Y.) cannabis decriminaliztion bill could receive a House floor vote this week.
The House Rules Committee held a hearing earlier this week to consider the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. According to Marijuana Moment, a congressional staffer told reporters that rumors are circulating on Capitol Hill that the bill could be up for a vote following a closed-to-press meeting of congressional Democrats said to have been centered around it.
The rumors were proven true with the House Rules Committee announcement and the listing of the bill on the official schedule for this week’s activities.
The bill would deschedule cannabis, remove it from the list of controlled substances and expunge the records of many cannabis prisoners.