ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A move in the Roundhouse regarding cannabis sales ran into some hurdles on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Houe Bill 315 would start claiming millions from taxes collected from cannabis sales and direct them toward various programs.
As it stands, all current money made from marijuana goes into the general fund. House Bill 315 would have created two new funds: the community reinvestment grant fund and the substance use disorder prevention and treatment fund. These funds would disperse the money toward programs including drug and alcohol treatment and education.
Representative Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe) who is one of the sponsors of this bill says this is money generated by communities that would be reinvested into the communities. “This was always the intent of the cannabis legislation was to reinvest into these programs but now that we have this incredible funding coming into the state as new revenue, we can finally make good on that promise to New Mexicans about what we care about investing in,” says Romero.
Under House Bill 315, 33% of the taxes collected from the recreational cannabis industry would have gone toward those programs. Romero identified that the bill didn’t quite clarify the money would only be coming from the state’s cut of the taxes – not from the city’s or county’s.
“We caught that there was a linguistic issue in the bill to make sure that counties and municipalities receive their full amount. So, we’ll be changing that today in committee to make sure that fix is made to make very clear that this money gets, you know, to municipalities and counties their full amount and that no money is taken away from them whatsoever,” says Romero.
However, the bill was tabled on Tuesday and won’t be back until next year. Sponsors of the bill also need to add more specifics on the programs it would fund.
The state is collecting a little more than $2.5 million a month from taxes on recreational cannabis sales. The cannabis excise tax is 12%.