SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will call the New Mexico Legislature into a special session on Tuesday, March 30 to address legalizing adult-use marijuana, she announced. The session will also discuss expanding the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA).
Both items were left unfinished in the 60-day session. The governor’s office said lawmakers from both parties reached a compromise on the measure of cannabis legalization in the final hours of the 60-day session.
“I am grateful to those legislative leaders and members who have expressed enthusiasm about returning to the people’s work so soon after a challenging 60-day session,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “The unique circumstances of the session, with public health safeguards in place, in my view prevented the measures on my call from crossing the finish line. While I applaud the Legislature and staff for their incredible perseverance and productivity during the 60-day in the face of these challenges, we must and we will forge ahead and finish the job on these initiatives together for the good of the people and future of our great state.”
The legalization of adult-use cannabis is a potentially significant economic driver, and both parties agree to its significant level of importance. It’s estimated to create over 11,000 jobs, the Gov. Lujan Grisham said. With an increasing number of states moving towards adult-use marijuana legalization, lawmakers said the legalization initiative would make New Mexico more competitive.
The initiative would also allow the state Economic Development Department to work with local governments statewide through the LEDA fund, which will provide more assistance to significant job-creating projects.
The bill would allow a portion of some state and local gross tax and compensation revenue from the construction of large projects (over $350 million) to be moved into the LEDA fund to help recruit large projects and replenish assistance for smaller projects. All affected local governments must agree to the revenue sharing.
“One thing we have learned about job creation in our state’s recent history is that we can’t keep doing exactly the same things from the same old playbook,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “LEDA is already a winner for New Mexico jobs and companies large and small across our state. For New Mexico families and for our economy to thrive, we need to think differently, and this new initiative will give us even more options to create higher-paying jobs and diversify the economy.”
It will be the third special session of the Legislature the Gov. Lujan Grisham has called.
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