The world around us is greening and the retail and service worlds are slowly gearing up under new public health orders. We've got a great collection of cannabis news this month including a don't-miss book from a New Mexico author, as well as a shift in Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's stance on legalization of recreational marijuana. While she talked about it during one of her regular news conferences on COVID-19, reconsideration of the law now seems like a long shot for the upcoming special session.
Another Try for Cannabis?
As New Mexico heads for a special session—perhaps as soon as next month—to patch budget holes created by the COVID-19 public health orders, the effort to legalize cannabis could see another push.
Make your choices
Thousands of voters have already cast ballots in New Mexico's primary elections via the state's absentee-by-mail option. Elections administrators and public health officials are recommending only those who must use the in-person options do so. Everyone else can request a ballot online at www.nmvote.org this month, but don't delay (you know how that postal delivery goes). SFR endorsements, published last week, considered state legislative candidates' stances on cannabis laws, among other issues. Shout out to Galisteo resident and current House District 50 Rep. Matthew McQueen.
Growth on the horizon for big player
Eleven new dispensary locations and an estimated 1,000 jobs are part of an increase in production planned by Ultra Health in the next year, reports the Albuquerque Journal. Company CEO Duke Rodriguez told the Journal the growth is partially in anticipation of the eventual legalization of recreational marijuana, though in the same story a governor's spokeswoman said she "wouldn't say it's likely" to be on the upcoming session agenda.
Tax see-saw continues
Dispensaries in Santa Fe have largely begun to again charge patients the state's gross receipts tax at the register. The change comes after a respite from taxation after the New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled the tax should not apply to medical cannabis. No word yet from the Supreme Court on whether it will consider a Taxation and Revenue Department request to overturn the decision.
Update from the state
The state reports Medical Cannabis Program staff are continuing to work and process applications using a secure application drop-box in the lobby at 1474 Rodeo Road during business hours. The Medical Cannabis Medical Advisory Board meeting scheduled for April 29 was postponed and will be rescheduled. The program website says that's because the department lacks a system to hold the meetings in way that is inclusive and also maintains privacy as needed. It will "continue to seek out an electronic solution to increase public participation."
Around the Web
Could it help?
Researchers at the University of Lethbridge in Canada say there's evidence that the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis could slow the spread of infections from COVID-19 in the form of a mouthwash and throat gargle. Interesting Engineering has a wrap here.
Summer reading list
Doug Fine's newest book American Hemp Farmer: Adventures and Misadventures in the Cannabis Trade, debuts at a time when practical knowledge about cultivation is indispensable. Fine, whose farm is down in Mimbres, New Mexico, is embarking on a COVID-19-safe book tour, and will appear in a Zoom lecture hosted by Collected Works at 6 pm on May 26.
Let it go
We know that times are tough. We hope you are doing your part to keep New Mexico safe. This video of Snoop listening to Let it Go is probably going to help, too.