420 with CNW – New Mexico Governor Regrets Missed Opportunity to Legalize Cannabis Before COVID-19 Pandemic

One of the best arguments for legalizing cannabis has been the tax revenue states stand to earn. Aside from providing employment opportunities, a legal cannabis market can generate millions in tax revenue. And at a time like this when most businesses are shut down while the cannabis industry still soldiers on, that revenue would have been a lifesaver.

The governor of New Mexico recently said that she regretted the fact that the state hadn’t yet legalized recreational marijuana. In a press conference last week, Governor Michelle Lynn Lujan was asked how she planned to address the financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak, and she said that although steps were being taken to handle it, she regretted losing cannabis as a source of revenue.

“If there was a time for wishful thinking, I wish we had passed recreational cannabis because that would be $100 million in tax revenue,” she says, acknowledging that the estimate was made before the outbreak.

“Nevertheless, a regulated marijuana market would be $100 million in the budget, and I’m very sad about that.”

Last year, she formed a working group to develop a legalization plan ahead of the January 2020 legislative session. The group estimated that the combined tax revenue from medical and recreational cannabis sales would be $100 annually, with sales reaching $620 million by the fifth year of legalization.

However, as the governor stated, the estimates were made before the coronavirus broke out. With most businesses shut down and stay at home orders in place, the economy is in shambles. On top of that, essential businesses like cannabis have to adhere to social distancing measures which would without a doubt affect sales. Consequently, the state would receive reduced tax revenue.

Additionally, a prior legalization bill that failed to pass stipulated that sales would begin on July 1. So even if it had been passed, the state wouldn’t have been able to collect the tax revenue.

The federal government deployed relief funds for small businesses, but since cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, marijuana businesses have been barred from accessing them. This has made it even harder for them to continue operating during the lockdown. However, a coalition of stakeholders and lawmakers are urging lawmakers to allow the state-legal cannabis industry to access the next coronavirus relief funds.

Governor Lujan had previously stated that she was open to letting voters decide on marijuana legalization through a ballot referendum. She also called for a special session but a spokesperson said that it is unlikely the reform will be pursued. Additionally, House Speaker Brian Egolf has stated that it is unlikely cannabis legalization will be part of a special session before the end of the year.

Analysts say the views expressed by Gov. Lujan show that what the cannabis industry players like Sugarmade Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD) have always said about the economic potential of marijuana is true for jurisdictions that legalize the industry.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

To receive instant SMS alerts, text CANNABIS to 21000 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)

For more information please visit https://www.CNW420.com

Please see full terms of use and disclaimers on the CannabisNewsWire website applicable to all content provided by CNW420, wherever published or re-published: http://CNW.fm/Disclaimer

Do you have questions or are you interested in working with CNW420? Ask our Editor

CannabisNewsWire420
Denver, Colorado
http://www.CNW420.com
303.498.7722 Office
Editor@CannabisNewsWire.com

CNW420 is part of the InvestorBrandNetwork.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s