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New Mexico Governor Says Legal Marijuana Revenue Could Have Offset Coronavirus’s Economic Hit

“I wish we had passed recreational cannabis”

The governor of New Mexico is voicing regret that the state did not legalize marijuana this year because, she says, its eventual revenues could have helped to offset economic damage imposed by the coronavirus outbreak.

During a press conference last week, Gov. Michelle Lynn Lujan Grisham (D) was asked what her plan is to address the financial uncertainty that’s emerged amid the COVID pandemic. While she said recovery efforts will largely involve coordination with oil and gas companies that account for a sizable share of the state budget, she also regretted that legislators were unable to approve cannabis legalization, which would’ve represented another source of income for the state.

“If there was ever a time for wishful thinking, I wish we had passed recreational cannabis because that would be $100 million” in tax revenue, the governor said, though she also acknowledged that the estimate was made “before COVID-19.”

Nevertheless, a regulated marijuana market “would be $100 million in the budget, and I’m very sad about that,” she said.

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