Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 15, 2019 


President Trump asks SCOTUS to block release of his tax returns; use of the death penalty is on the decline across the country; and a push to make nutrition part of the health-care debate.

2020Talks - November 15, 2019 


Former MA Gov. Deval Patrick is officially running for president, saying he can attract more Independents and moderate Republicans than other candidates.

Daily Newscasts

New Mexico Mulls Benefits of Legalizing Cannabis

A governor-appointed task force is expected to recommend a regulatory structure soon for legalizing marijuana in New Mexico, with legislative approval to be debated in the 2020 session. (creakyjoints.org)
A governor-appointed task force is expected to recommend a regulatory structure soon for legalizing marijuana in New Mexico, with legislative approval to be debated in the 2020 session. (creakyjoints.org)
August 19, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. – Earlier this year, New Mexico authorized state agencies to regulate the hemp industry, and now it appears poised to tackle the growing interest in legalization of cannabis.

Economist and marijuana market consultant Kelly O'Donnell recently told a task force established by the governor that demand for cannabis products has far outpaced expectations in neighboring Colorado.

O'Donnell says New Mexico could find itself in a similar position if lawmakers legalize recreational marijuana.

"There's a good economic case to be made for doing this if you do it right,” she states. “There is potential for job creation and higher tax revenue."

O'Donnell estimates the annual revenue for state and local governments in New Mexico could hit $120 million in five years depending on the tax structure and regulatory policy.

A bipartisan bill to legalize recreational marijuana passed the New Mexico House this year, but stalled in the Senate before the legislative session ended.

O'Donnell maintains more adults in the state will use marijuana if it's legal and considered socially acceptable.

She says it also could increase the number of out-of-state visitors, especially from Mexico and Texas, which has not indicated it will legalize marijuana anytime soon.

"Would it increase tourism?” she raises. “Probably, but it's certainly not going to rival some of our larger economic sectors."

O'Donnell notes that in addition to a boost in tourism, legalized cannabis could add at least 10,000 new jobs to the state's agriculture and retail sectors.

Of the people who traveled to Colorado between 2013 and 2018, 25% listed cannabis as a reason for their visit, according to the state's tourism agency.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - NM