And then there were 2 --- cannabis legalization bills. At least that's the way things seem to be shaping up in this 2021 Legislative Session.
Yesterday, the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee moved ahead both HB 12 and SB 288, although with changes to both measures. Those changes actually bring the two bills closer in line, with the big difference being oversight of a new legal cannabis market. HB 12 leaves that to Licensing and Regulation, while SB 288 would create a new supervisory panel. The other difference is, HB 12 has a shorter path to potential passage, since it has already worked its way through the House of Representatives. You can read more about all of this from Andy Lyman at New Mexico Political Report, and be sure to keep up to date with our "Growing Forward" podcast, all about the cannabis industry in New Mexico. It's a collaborative project between NMPBS and New Mexico Political Report.
Some of the other highlights from yesterday's legislative action:
HB 255 – This passed the full Senate on a 29-11 vote, but not without a total of 8 amendments. This measure includes sweeping reforms to the state's liquor laws and would allow for home delivery of some alcohol and a new ban on the sale of mini liquor bottles as gas stations. In addition, Sunday liquor sales could now start before 11am. The House quickly concurred with the changes, and so HB 255 is on to the Governor's desk for her signature.
SB 32 - This is known as Roxy's law, named after a Blue Heeler killed by a wildlife trap back in 2018. SB 32 bans the use of wildlife traps, snares and poisons on New Mexico's public lands. It also passed the full Senate and is headed to the House for consideration. You can learn more about this issue from a recent Facebook Live conversation hosted by New Mexico in Focus host Gene Grant.
As for today, here are some of the big issues that could come up in various committee hearings that we discussed in this episode:
House Health and Human Services Committee – 8:30am
HB 177: Homemade Food Act
House Judiciary – 11:30am
SB 286: Special Congressional Election Changes
Senate Education – 8:30am
HB 163: Requiring high school students to take a financial literacy class
Senate Finance – Roughly a half hour after the Floor session ends
HJR 1 - Tapping the Permanent Land Grant Fund to pay for early childhood education programs
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