Marijuana legalization hopes have been failing in New Mexico since last year. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s attempts to pass a legalization bill have failed. The Senate rejected the proposals time and again. However, there’s still strong support in the state. The support is evident from the recent 2020 New Mexico Democratic presidential primaries election held on June 2. Voters ousted most of the Senate candidates who were against marijuana legalization. Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the state.
New Mexico voters support for marijuana legalization
In the 2020 New Mexico Democratic presidential primaries election held on June 2, New Mexico voters showed their support for marijuana legalization. Voters ousted most of the Senate candidates who were against marijuana legalization. A Marijuana Moment article discussed how voters rejected many key New Mexico state senators who opposed legalization. Among them was Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen who reportedly didn’t support legalization. In a recent survey, she said, “[a]t this time I will not support the legalization of recreational marijuana in New Mexico” and simply committed to “look at all Legislation that comes before the Senate and evaluate it on its merits.”
Meanwhile, her challenger, Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce President Carrie Hamblen thinks that legalization can bring in jobs and a regulated market can stop criminalization and racial disparity.
Voters also ousted Senate Finance Chairman John Arthur Smith who strongly opposed legalization. They also ousted a few others like Senator Clemente Sanchez, Senator Richard Martinez, Senator Gabe Ramos.
Looking at the election results, Emily Kaltenbach, the New Mexico state director for Drug Policy Action, thinks that the vote “signals that New Mexico can become the next state to legalize cannabis for the right reasons: protecting consumers, keeping cannabis out of the hands of our children, putting medical cannabis patients first, reinvesting back into communities most harmed by prohibition and diversifying our economy.”
A poll conducted in December showed huge support for legalization in the state. Governor Grisham thinks that legalization should be voters’ decision now. We’ll have to wait and see how things turn out in New Mexico.
Benefits to cannabis legalization
The wrongful killing of George Floyd highlighted the topic of racial injustice and led to mass protests in most US states. Now, with the fight against racial injustice, marijuana legalization is picking steam again. Most lawmakers and the general public think that African American people are mainly affected by the criminalization of marijuana in most states. As a result, legalizing, decriminalizing, and regulating cannabis could solve many of these problems and help end racial disparity. One of the motives behind marijuana legalization is to bring justice to people affected by the “War on Drugs.”
Second, marijuana legalization could bring in employment opportunities and tax revenues. Employment opportunities are important amid the pandemic. Most sectors have taken on huge losses. Amid the crisis, the marijuana sector appears to be doing good due to the surge in demand and sales. Therefore, many states like New Mexico and Texas see legalization as an option to recover from economic losses. New Mexico has a population of 2.1 million. The governor estimates that legal cannabis could bring in $100 million of recurring revenue into the budget. Supporters in Texas think that cannabis could bring in $1 billion in additional sales tax revenue. New York is also attempting to legalize cannabis amid the ongoing protests.
Cannabis stocks performance
Most US cannabis companies have seen a tremendous rise in revenue in their first quarter compared to their Canadian peers. Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) reported revenue growth of 20.3% in its third quarter, while Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC)(TSE:WEED) showed 14.7% growth in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Cresco Labs (OTCMKTS:CRLBF), Curaleaf (OTCMKTS:CURLF), and Green Thumb Industries showed triple-digit revenue growth. Hexo is also expected to show revenue growth in its upcoming third-quarter earnings, which it will likely report on June 11. On June 8, Aurora Cannabis, Hexo, and Canopy Growth rose 12.9%, 47.3%, and 8.6%. Cresco Labs and Curaleaf gained 3.7% and 2.5%, while Green Thumb declined 0.10% on Monday.
Stay with us to learn more about the marijuana sector.