ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on New Mexico marijuana legalizing debate (all times local):
New Mexico Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel says states that have legalized recreational marijuana use have seen their medical cannabis programs affected.
Kunkel told a bipartisan group studying legalizing recreational marijuana in the state on Wednesday that’s why any proposal to legalized recreational marijuana should seek to protect New Mexico’s current medical program.
She says medical marijuana patients seek items like oils and suppositories that wouldn’t be sought by potential recreational users.
Kunkel says separate the medical marijuana and recreational systems would help current medical cannabis users.
Her comments came as medical marijuana providers told the study group that any proposal to legalized recreational marijuana in New Mexico should offer protections to their operations.
A bipartisan group appointed by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to study legalizing recreational marijuana in the state is holding its first public policy meeting.
The group is scheduled Wednesday to meet in Albuquerque and to hear from officials from the state’s current medical cannabis program and from experts of marijuana licensing.
Members of the group include Democratic and Republican legislators who sponsored unsuccessful legislation this year to authorize and tax recreational marijuana sales at state-run stores. That proposal passed a House vote but stalled in the Senate.
The Governor’s Working Group on Cannabis Legalization is scheduled to hold a similar meeting in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on Aug. 28. It also is slated to visit Colorado to meet with state regulators there.