Recreational pot bill spurned in New Mexico Legislature

New Mexico

FILE – In this June 11, 2019 file photo Medical marijuana flowers await customers at the Minerva cannabis dispensary in Santa Fe, N.M. New Mexico would legalize recreational marijuana sales without exceptions for dissenting cities and counties under a rebooted proposal form legislators that emphasizes small business opportunities and ready access to pot for 80,000 current medical cannabis patients. Legalization for the first time enjoys the full throttled support of second-year Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who set up a volunteer commission last year to vet health and public safety concerns about recreational cannabis and on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, pitched the benefits of the pot economy to a gathering business leaders. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee,File)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal to legalize recreational marijuana through the New Mexico Legislature has been rejected by a Senate committee after an excoriating critique from the panel’s Democratic chairman.

Two Democrats joined Republicans in a 6-4 vote to table a bill that would have legalized recreational marijuana businesses in every city and county while sheltering the state’s medical cannabis program with tax breaks and patient subsidies.

The vote leaves little or no chance for reviving the bill before the annual legislative session ends at noon on Feb. 20.

The initiative was backed by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham amid efforts to attract new industries to the state.

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