Cannabis patients, business owners hope for commitment to update cannabis law from gubernatorial candidates
Not long after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that abortions are not a right covered by the U.S. Constitution, award-winning actress Bette Midler posted to Twitter a doctored picture of a New Mexico welcome sign. Added to the sign were the words, “We’ve got chile, weed and reproductive rights,” referring to the fact that state lawmakers removed a criminal penalty for abortions and that the state legalized recreational-use cannabis. Hours later, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s reelection campaign jumped on the opportunity and reposted the picture with the added words, “And we’re going to keep it that way.”
If Lujan Grisham’s Republican opponent and former television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti wins the election in November, it’s likely that he will push for a change to the state’s abortion law, but his campaign has said little about whether he would push for changes to the state’s Cannabis Regulation Act.
Medical cannabis patients and cannabis business owners who spoke with NM Political Report about cannabis and the upcoming gubernatorial election had various views on how each candidate might impact the current law, but most agreed that there is still more work to be done when it comes to the state’s cannabis industry.
Alyssa Pearson, the chief operating officer of the cannabis company Dr. Green Organics Co., said her business is in the final stages of opening a cannabis retail store in Mesilla Park, in Southern New Mexico. Pearson declined to discuss who she plans on voting for in the upcoming election, but said she hopes lawmakers and the governor address what she sees as needed changes to the current law.
“At this point, all that needs to be done to kill small businesses like ours is ambivalence,” Pearson said. “I know that that’s something that my business partners and I would never want to do, is vote for somebody who could potentially jeopardize the feasibility of the social equity mission of cannabis, because that’s, for us, such a huge thing.