Panel discusses impact of recreational marijuana | KOB 4

Panel discusses impact of recreational marijuana

Brittany Costello
March 07, 2019 07:29 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The House is debating the idea of recreational marijuana. Under HB 356, people 21 and older could legally have up to two ounces of marijuana.

On Thursday, our partners at Albuquerque Business First hosted a panel to discuss how recreational marijuana would impact our community and our local businesses.

At the Albuquerque Business First Grow New Mexico Cannabis summit, panelists considered how legalization would impact tourism in New Mexico. 

“Think about a dispensary in a casino and how many people visit casinos, or at Balloon Fiesta time,” said Shannon Jaramillo, CEO of Cannabis NM Staffing. “I think it would impact it positively.”

According to Albuquerque Business First, recreational marijuana could make more than $400-million in the first year. Aside from the economic implications, business owners have some concerns about what that means for employees.

“It does bring economic prosperity however there are, in the long term, consequences to that for example, qualities of life,” said Yashoda Naidoo, a local restaurant owner.

Naidoo owns three restaurants in Albuquerque and one in Santa Fe. She said with the possibility of legalization, she wonders what that means for drivers or workers comp insurance fees.

“I think it's a lot about re-writing your handbook,” said Naidoo. “Having to sit down and decide how you’re going to be positively incorporating legalization into your business.”

Experts said there are still a lot of unknowns.

“I think there are some lessons learned where protections are not in place for employers,” said Danny Jarrett, Managing Partner at Jackson Lewis.

Track this bill during the legislative session


Brittany Costello

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