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2 Native American Tribes to Legally Sell Marijuana

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Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Pueblo of Picuris Gov. Craig Quanchello and Pueblo of Pojoaque Gov. Jenelle Roybal announced the signing of two historic intergovernmental agreements that support the native American pueblos taking part in the recreational cannabis industry, driving economic development and setting guidelines for the safe production and sale of cannabis while preventing federal enforcement on their tribal lands.

“The economic opportunities provided by the recreational and medical cannabis industries are truly game-changing, and sovereign tribal nations should benefit alongside the state,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “With these agreements, the Pueblo of Pojoaque and the Pueblo of Picuris will benefit from this exciting new industry, which is projected to bring $300 million in sales annually and create 11,000 jobs in New Mexico.”

Recreational cannabis sales began across the state on April 1, grossing around $2 million on the first day. The agreement means that cannabis products can now be sold in the pueblos and taxed by the tribes much like cigarettes and gasoline are sold and taxed now, according to state Taxation and Revenue Department spokesman Charlie Moore.

The state’s 12% tax on the product won’t be levied on products sold by the tribes.

“New Mexico, the Pueblo of Picuris and the Pueblo of Pojoaque are establishing a new, positive way forward together,” Lujan Grisham said. “Rather than just establishing lines and limits, then each community going its own way, these agreements create real partnerships that provide the framework to meet and discuss in detail the challenges and opportunities we face together in New Mexico.”

The Cannabis Regulation Act, passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Lujan Grisham in 2021, provides for the legal possession, production and sale of adult-use cannabis in New Mexico. Sales will begin on April 1.

Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, and tribes are warily preparing to enter the industry in a legal gray zone.  However, 19 states have legalized recreational marijuana sales and use, including Arizona in 2020.



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