Let us begin by wishing you and yours warmth and peace as we send our final monthly newsletter of 2020. Frankly, we’re ready to see the year in the rearview mirror and looking forward to what good the new year may bring. New Mexico’s next Legislative session is 60 days long and kicks off Jan. 20. If you’re the type to binge a podcast, and you’ve already read this far in our newsletter, we recommend you check out the first season of Growing Forward. It’s a great way to catch up on the history of cannabis regulation in the state and to look ahead. Hosted by Andy Lyman, reporter at New Mexico Political Report, and Megan Kamerick, correspondent at New Mexico PBS, on-air host at KUNM radio and former business reporter.Scroll down for more regional and national news, and thanks for reading!

Regional News

More, please

Plant caps that have kept medical cannabis producers with a thumb on their backs and prevented patients from keeping stockpiles could shift as the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Advisory Board on Dec. 9  recommended the health secretary allow for more production. The state program director still says New Mexico has an adequate supply for the more than 101,000 people now enrolled in the program, but the Associated Press reports the industry has argued that the state’s data is unreliable. The debate shows no signs of lessening.

Hemp school

New Mexico Highlands University has approved plans to launch a hemp entrepreneur certificate through School of Business Media and Technology’s Emerging Business Markets Entrepreneurship program with two tracks: one track for students focused on the business of industrial hemp and one track for students focused on the science of plant production. The program would begin pending final approval from the Higher Learning Commission.

Is Colorado delivery a bad idea?

With internet sales shifting drastically in nearly every economic sector, “the regulations governing Colorado’s retail cannabis market have unintentionally insulated it from these competitive pressures disrupting the rest of the retail industry,” writes Brian Keegan for The Colorado Sun. Yet, now the Aurora is among the first cities to move toward allowing cannabis delivery rather than in-person sales only. This sounds crazy to New Mexicans, who still can’t get alcohol delivered or even buy it on Sunday mornings. Keegan argues that it’s probably crazy for Colorado too, or at least uncertain.

Around the Nation

Global and national policy votes

With the United States among member nations that voted in the affirmative, the United Nations removed cannabis from its list of dangerous substances Dec. 2. The vote, which acted on a recommendation from the World Health Organization was, as CNN summarizes here, “largely symbolic, and may not have an immediate impact on how governments control scheduled substances.”  A few days later, the US House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, which would decriminalize and tax the sale of marijuana as well as expunge nonviolent marijuana-related convictions. Most agree the bill is also more of a signal than a probable policy change, as it has little chance of moving through the Senate. Yet, it was the first time either of the parts of the nation’s legislature has adopted such a measure.

Smoke from BET

Cable network BET last month aired the documentary Smoke: Marijuana and Black America, produced by Nasir Jones and including high profile participants such as Vice President Kamala Harris, former NBA player and cannabis investor Al Harrington, as well as other athletes and politicians. It highlights the disproportionate effect of the drug war on Black Americans along with the way Black entrepreneurs are carving out a place as the industry goes legit.