On Wednesday, a working group that was appointed by New Mexico governor released its recommendations for a legal cannabis market.
The group was formed in June this year by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), who was interested in the development of a legalization plan by the panel of experts before the January 2020 legislative session which lasts for 30 days only. New Mexico State could be next in legalizing marijuana in the United States.
The report from the group provides recommendations such as marijuana packaging requirements, promotion of social equity, and allocation of tax revenue derived from marijuana sales.
In a press release, the working group chair, Pat Davis who is the City Councilor in Albuquerque, said that to explore every aspect of marijuana legalization, both the bad and the good, the group held more than 30 hours of public gatherings across the state where they collected more than 200 pages of public comments to help in writing their report.
The recommendations in the report included the release of marijuana possession convicts, tax exemptions for medical marijuana, setting product requirements, and introducing a subsidy program that would lower the cost of medical cannabis for low-income patients.
The working group also suggested that the state bans home cultivation of weed or for growers to acquire a license. Just as stipulated in the current law, the group also suggests that patients with medical marijuana cards to be allowed to cultivate a maximum of six cannabis plants for their use.
In an email, Lujan Grisham’s press secretary, Nora Meyers Sackett, wrote that the governor is happy because the working group included her priorities such as protection measures for the medical program, public and workplace safety concerns and clear labeling or the packaging in their marijuana legalization proposal.
She further added that the governor would review the working group’s recommendations and then incorporate them into the legislation and strive to earn the support of the legislators and stakeholders before the legislative session.
Some of the recommendations from the working group include the prohibition of marijuana advertisements that feature children, clearly labeled containers with correct doses, and maintenance of reliable testing methods. Penalties will also be imposed on individuals selling weed to minors or consuming it in a car. Training of the police to identify drug-impaired drivers using tax revenue funds is also catered for in the proposals. The proposals suggest that a tax rate of 17% be imposed on marijuana sales. Local authorities would be allowed to use the revenue collected from marijuana as they see fit.
The working group also suggests that funds should be set aside to help communities and small businesses with capital to start their weed companies. The revenue generated should also be used to support housing, on-the-job training, and education programs in the state.
Davis said that if the recommendations are well implemented, they will be able to create 11,000 jobs. Marijuana industry analysts think companies like VPR Brands LP (OTCQB: VPRB) and Sproutly Canada Inc. (CSE: SPR) (OTCQB: SRUTF) (FRA: 38G) would approve of these recommendations since they are comprehensive and cover all important aspects of the industry.
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