The governor signed some cannabills this month, most notably SB 323, Reduced Penalties for Marijuana. Now the book that the cops throw at you won't be quite as heavy if you're caught with under a half-ounce of cannabis; that'll be simply a $50 fine and a penalty assessment, rather than a criminal conviction. Everything above a half-ounce can still carry a much steeper fine and potential jail time, so it's not real decriminalization, but it's a step in the right direction.
In other news, there was a string of break-ins at Santa Fe dispensaries last month, and though to SFR they seemed related, police don't seem to agree. The product and the cash was locked up tight in all of the stores, so other than some glassware and CBD products, the burglars didn't get anything. They sure smashed up the places though.
If you're a subscriber of this newsletter, you'll no doubt be interested in our upcoming print issue, which is cannabis-themed in honor of 4/20. Check it out on newsstands Wednesday, or subscribe to our weekly newsletter, which has all the stories found in print.
SFR’s Cannabis Reporting
Governor signs bill reducing marijuana penalties into law
Possession of up to a half-ounce earns $50 fine after July 1
Colorado keeps killin’ it
Our northern neighbor continues to break sales records in its recreational marijuana industry. Westword reports that dispensaries, both medicinal and recreational, raked in $119.4 million in February and $124.9 million the month before. Warmer weather and the upcoming holiday should only increase those numbers for the month of April. Now if only New Mexico could get in on that …
Win-stoned Churchill (sorry)
Best Daze in Santa Fe is rolling out a new product, cannagars—which is, like, a cigar, but with cannabis. Leaf Brief is a big fan of the various wacky weed products that people have come up with over the past few years, and this is no exception. Plus it gave us the opportunity to use a bad pun. Winston Churchill liked cigars. Get it?
Around the Web
A 70-year-old man who grows cannabis illegally to give to sick people had his house broken into by a bunch of no-good teens, and then the cops picked him up. This is a pretty wild story, including half-frozen burglars hiding in freezers, bronze guns (?) and a sweet old man who started an illegal grow to help his nephew, who had a degenerative muscle disease, feel a bit better. He's potentially facing jailtime, which is a huge bummer. #freesaintsativa
New Jersey cancelled a rec push
New Mexicans disappointed that recreational cannabis didn't happen this year can take solace in the fact that we're not the only ones. The New Jersey Legislature pulled a bill that would have made New Jersey the 11th state to legalize, saying that it did not have the votes to pass. Cory Booker, a Garden State Dem in the US Senate who's running for president in 2020, endorsed the bill. We know it's probably not the case, but Leaf Brief is choosing to blame former Gov. Chris Christie for this tragedy, because that guy sucks and everyone knows it.
New York City bans drug tests
In what seems to be the first instance of such a law nationwide, NYC Council declared it unlawful for employers to test their employees for THC. Fun fact: The Leaf had a friend of a friend in college who would sell clean urine to circumvent drug tests, which is a seriously gross way to make money. Good riddance to that bizarre industry dying in at least one major city. Also, its good that people won't lose their job for getting high on their own time.