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Recap: 2021 Legislative Session


In the same hour as the conclusion of the 2021 Regular Session, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the commencement of a Special Session. The Legislature adhered to its constitutional duty – providing a balanced budget during the annual regular session – but failed to pass legislation that would legalize adult-use cannabis in New Mexico. In another news release the Governor stated that the Special Session will begin on March 30 to take up the issue, along with expanding the Local Economic Development Act or LEDA. Legislation that would provide a path for such cannabis legalization stalled on the Senate floor after moving through the House and two Senate committees. The sponsors of House Bill 12, titled the Cannabis Regulation Act, believe that with a little more time, the measure would have passed.

In addition to the $7.4 billion state budget, just over 150 bills were sent to the Governor for consideration – the lowest number of bills passed during a regular session in more than a decade. At the close of the 2021 Regular Session, the Governor had signed 14 bills into law including pandemic relief for individuals and businesses, liquor law reform, and the repeal of an antiquated abortion law. It will take some time for measures that passed in the final days to reach the Governor’s desk officially. The Governor has until April 9, 2021, to sign legislation into law, any measure not enacted will be conside