New Mexico governor set to sign recreational marijuana bill


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SANTA FE, N.M. – New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was set Monday to sign legislation that will legalize recreational marijuana use and sales in the state, making it the seventh since last November to do so.

The governor, a Democrat, has supported marijuana reform as a way to create jobs and shore up state revenue.

Her office in an advisory said she was scheduling a bill signing ceremony and news conference for later in the day.

New Mexico voters ousted ardent opponents of legalization from the state Senate in the 2020 Democratic primary, opening the way for legalization of recreational marijuana.

The governor called a special legislative session to tackle the issue in late March after legalization efforts faltered.

Legislators rallied behind a legalization framework from state Rep. Javier Martinez of Albuquerque that provides automated procedures for expunging past pot convictions.

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The bill gives the governor a strong hand in oversight of recreational marijuana through her appointed superintendent of the Regulation and Licensing Department.

Regulators can put a cap on marijuana cultivation quantities and impose a per-plant state fee of up to $50 a year.

Some of the state’s medical marijuana producers lobbied for market controls amid concerns that marijuana prices might plummet with the legalization of recreational marijuana, undermining investments and employment.

People age 21 and over will be allowed to buy and possess up to 2 ounces (28 grams) of marijuana outside their homes.

Home marijuana growers will be allowed to grow up to six plants per person, or 12 per household. The scent of marijuana will no longer be grounds for police seizures.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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