Hard to believe the Southwest Wellness dispensary has been open for a year already!
Time sure does fly, which is heartening when one considers the current state of affairs. It don’t take a weatherman…
In terms of New Mexico’s marijuana laws however, time is most certainly on our side. It’s just a matter of a little more time before we abolish prohibition and grow a new economy. Pun intended.
When New Mexico State Representative Javier Martinez introduced House Bill 312 to tax and regulate marijuana, in January of this year, he explained that he envisions an industry that will support economic growth and begins to dismantle failed drug war policies that hurt New Mexicans.
“The war on marijuana has been a miserable failure,’’ said Representative Martinez. “We spend millions of dollars criminalizing people who use marijuana.”
“We need to legalize marijuana in New Mexico and stop the harm that disproportionately impacts those who are living in poverty and those who are Black, Native and Hispanic/Latino.” He said.
“A marijuana conviction can have tragic long-term consequences for individuals and families. People may lose jobs or be unable to secure employment because of a criminal record. Students who incur a marijuana conviction can lose their student loans. The punishment doesn’t fit the offense and New Mexicans agree we should remove penalties and instead tax and regulate marijuana.”
“New Mexico’s current marijuana laws are unfair, unpopular and wasteful. Thousands of individuals are arrested for marijuana possession in New Mexico every year,” agreed Emily Kaltenbach, New Mexico State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “It is a waste of law enforcement resources and taxpayer money when we could have a safe and legal industry creating thousands of sustainable new jobs.”
It’s a fact that the marijuana industry will immediately create one of New Mexico’s most lucrative industries, along with film, pinon, craft beer, and chile. With the marijuana market growing, there will be more opportunities to employ citizens and they can also join a marijuana staffing agency to improve their chances of being employed. This creates sustainable employment as well as encouraging economic growth.
Advocates are applauding this common sense conversation among our law makers, that is long overdue.
“We don’t expect the bill to pass this year, but introducing it is important,” said Kaltenbach.
Keeping the conversation ongoing is also important, she said, as feedback from these conversations “will make for the best, most carefully thought out policy proposal for 2019.”
A national shift on marijuana legalization is underway. Despite the stance of the current federal administration, nine states, and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana for adult use. And 29 states now permit the use of medical marijuana, including New Mexico.
Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon have brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue from marijuana taxation, and the fears of prohibitionists have not been borne out in these states.
The Drug Policy Alliance’s recent report (From Prohibition to Progress), finds that states are saving money and protecting the public by comprehensively regulating marijuana for sale purposes. There have been dramatic decreases in marijuana arrests and convictions, saving states millions of dollars and preventing the criminalization of thousands of people.
The report also states that: youth marijuana use has remained stable in states that have legalized; access to legal marijuana is associated with reductions in some of the most troubling harms associated with opioid use, including opioid overdose deaths and untreated opioid use disorders; DUI arrests for driving under the influence, of alcohol and other drugs, have declined in Colorado and Washington, the first two states to legalize marijuana; while at the same time, these states are exceeding their marijuana revenue estimates.
Here in Taos, Southwest Wellness is way ahead of the curve. Along with boasting the largest legal “grow” in Northern New Mexico, which supplies medical marijuana throughout the state, the dispensaries in Taos and Albuquerque (with a soon to be announced location in Santa Fe), are themselves, like the greenhouses on the property, state of the art facilities, designed by Doug Patterson. The Taos location includes a Doctor’s office on the premises, making your application for a NM Medical marijuana card, a breeze.
Today, Southwest Wellness celebrates a year serving patients aqui en Taos, and their 1 Year Anniversary Fiesta continues through the weekend.
When I popped in earlier this week, Victoria Carballo (who’s been there almost as long as the dispensary), and Miguel Montoya, the Manager of the Taos location, were taking a break during a lull. The place has been hopping lately and they have been getting ready for the weekend which is sure to be a party!
They will be offering specials beginning today (the official Anniversary date), through the 21st, culminating on Saturday with an event outside in the parking lot on Salazar Road.
Vendors for Budder Pro’s, Herbal Edibles, and Bloom will all be on hand in Taos. They will be offering a giveaway and providing unmedicated samples. There is a raffle planned, with three drawings and much more.
King Palms PreRolls will be back in store (Lavender, Durban Poison, Kush Berry, Blue Dream.) Concentrates are $5 off, and edibles will also be on special. The menus onsite will show a few surprise specials as well, so be sure to drop in over the next few days to say hi to the staff and meet the vendors and growers who provide us with such great product. As the business is currently going from strength to strength, their next steps include investing in some exciting new store fixtures to display their best selling products.
There are also new harvests in store, including Red Dragon and the ever popular Durban Poison which is coming in with a higher THC count.
Cheers Southwest Wellness! Thanks for a year of great service to our community, and here’s to many more!
Southwest Wellness is located at 1023 Salazar Rd, in Taos and 9132 Montgomery Blvd NE Suite D, in Albuquerque
For much more information about Southwest Wellness and their 1 Year Anniversary Fiesta, please visit their site linked below.
All images taken on my iphone