The New Mexico House of Representatives voted to approve a bill on Friday that would legalize recreational marijuana for adults. The measure, House Bill 12, was passed by a vote of 39 to 31 and now heads to the New Mexico Senate for consideration.
Under the bill, commercial production and sales of cannabis would be legalized, regulated, and taxed. Adults 21 and older would be permitted to purchase up to two ounces of marijuana at a time and cultivate up to six mature cannabis plants. Amounts in excess of two ounces would have to be stored securely at the owner’s residence.
The measure would also make those with past convictions for minor cannabis offenses eligible to have their records expunged. Those currently incarcerated for such offenses would be eligible for release.
House Bill 12 would impose an excise tax of 8% on cannabis retail sales. Local jurisdictions would also be permitted to assess city or county taxes of up to 4%. Estimates project the measure could raise as much as $44 million for the state and up to $24 million for local governments each year by 2024. Total taxes on cannabis would be capped at 20%.
“That’s important for two