Employees of New Mexico’s High Horse Cannabis Company spoke to the El Paso City Council last week about legalizing cannabis in Texas.
According to a blog post on the company’s website, many customers and even some employees work at dispensaries in Las Cruces and Chaparral but live across the state line in El Paso, Texas—where cannabis is still illegal.
“I think it’s time for things to change in Texas,” said Ruben Aguilar, Chief Executive Officer for High Horse. “We hope the City of El Paso will join us in asking that the state end cannabis prohibition.”
Colt DeMorris, Chief of Retail Operations for High Horse and Executive Director for El Paso NORML pointed out that the city of El Paso has already made some progress regarding cannabis law reform. “El Paso City Council passed an unenforceable resolution to cite and release people found in possession of misdemeanor amounts of cannabis,” DeMorris said. “If we could get them to make it an enforceable ordinance, they would help lots of people, tax payers, and free up resources in our justice system.”
Texas cannabis consumers make up a large portion of the market in southern New Mexico, where small border towns are seeing profits comparable with those of larger cities that are further from the border. In December, Chaparral sold over $469,000 worth of cannabis—nearly a quarter of the cannabis sold in Santa Fe that month.
Voters Want More Regulations For Crypto Than Pot
A new poll found that more U.S. voters want cannabis to be less strictly regulated, while they want more regulations for cryptocurrencies, social media and electric cars.
According to a poll by Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies, 45 percent of 2,050 voters—the largest portion—would rather see cannabis regulations eased than increased or left at the current level.
In comparison, most of the same respondents said they would like to see more regulations for cryptocurrencies (57 percent) and consumer privacy and security on the internet (55 percent). More people believed that social media (49 percent), nuclear energy (44 percent), electric cars (38 percent) and coal (36 percent) should receive more regulations. Only 33 percent said they wanted more regulations for marijuana.
Cannabis Lobbying Hits New Record
The cannabis industry set a record for lobby spending in 2022, with $5.43 million spent on influencing federal lawmakers and regulators.
According to a Dow Jones press release, last year’s lobby spending of the top 20 cannabis companies and trade associations slightly beat the $5.22 million spent in 2021.
Although the amount of cannabis lobbying appears to be increasing, spending still trails behind other interests. Amazon and its subsidiaries reportedly paid $21.38 million for lobbying in 2022, as an example.