New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has officially called lawmakers back for a special session specifically to reach a deal on cannabis legalization, the Associated Press reports. The session is set to begin tomorrow.
Grisham had indicated that she planned to call lawmakers back to the Capitol after they failed to approve the legalization package before the end of the state’s legislative session.
In late February, the state House of Representatives approved the reforms but the bill stalled in the Senate due to disagreements over taxation, licensing, and criminal justice provisions. Those issues persist but Grisham and legislative leaders hope to come to an agreement during the special session, which can only last 30 days.
Republican leaders in the statehouse seem amenable to two complimentary bills – one with the industry regulations and oversight and another with the criminal justice reforms related to legalization, the report says. Republicans want a bill with strong employers’ rights to limit cannabis use by employees, cannabis impairment enforcement on roadways, unlimited business licenses, and low taxes.
House Republicans also criticized Grisham for calling the session in the run-up to Good Friday and Easter celebrations.
The bill approved by the House includes strong social justice provisions – including automatic expungement – and allows for micro-licenses.
In comments to Sandoval County Democrats earlier this month, Grisham said she was not going to wait another year for the reforms and was confident lawmakers would come to a legalization deal during the special session.
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