Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham via Twitter

New Mexico Gov. Signs Cannabis Legalization Bill

New Mexico’s governor signed two bills this afternoon to legalize adult-use cannabis and expunge some cannabis-related criminal records.

Full story after the jump.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has signed the pair of cannabis reform bills lawmakers sent to her desk last week. Together, the legislation legalizes adult-use cannabis and automatically expunges some cannabis-related criminal records for crimes that would no longer be illegal under the new law.

Under the new rules, adults in New Mexico aged 21 or older are allowed to possess up to two ounces of cannabis and 16 grams of extract from a licensed manufacturer and can grow up to six cannabis plants at home. Adult-use cannabis retailers are set to open by April 2022. Cannabis sales in the state will initially be taxed at 12% but that rate will eventually rise to 18%, and cannabis businesses will face gross receipt taxes of between 5% and 9%.

The Department of Public Safety recently released numbers suggesting the automatic expungement language could affect more than 150,000 New Mexico residents, according to the SF Reporter.

“New Mexico will greatly benefit from this new revenue stream and the creation of thousands of jobs. Most notably though, legalization will spare thousands of otherwise law-abiding residents from arrest and a criminal record, and the state’s new expungement law will help provide relief to many who are suffering from the stigma and other collateral consequences associated with a prior marijuana conviction.” — NORML State Policies Manager Carly Wolf, in a statement

New Mexico‘s legislative session had ended March 30 with no action on the popular cannabis issue but Gov. Grisham called lawmakers back for a special session to reach a legalization deal.

New Mexico is the fourth state to legalize cannabis in 2021 — following New Jersey, New York, and Virginia — and the 18th U.S. state overall to legalize.

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