Pro-Marijuana Legislators Optimistic as Speaker Egolf Fails to Disclose Professional Relationship with Marijuana Company
Santa Fe, NM – In a recent article in the Albuquerque Journal, both Rep. Bill McCamley and Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino expressed optimism that they’ll be able to legalize marijuana with Democrat Speaker Brian Egolf leading the State House.
Egolf has deep ties to the marijuana industry in New Mexico, and has failed to disclose that he personally represents one marijuana client at his law firm that would stand to profit significantly if it were fully legalized.
In his financial disclosure form submitted to the Secretary of State’s office, Egolf failed to disclose that he is representing New Mexico Ultra Health, a licensed cannabis producer, in a lawsuit against the New Mexico Department of Health. Egolf and his client are fighting in court to remove New Mexico’s cap on cannabis production and drastically increase the potential revenue for cannabis producers in New Mexico.
If recreational marijuana is legalized, companies like Ultra Health would stand to profit. There are 35 licensed cannabis producers in New Mexico. If Egolf wins his case and the production cap is lifted, these producers could build their capacity to eventually meet a larger demand when marijuana becomes fully legalized. Since these producers already have licenses to produce cannabis in the state, they would have the product and the ability to immediately satisfy recreational demands in addition to the medical market.
“It is no surprise that marijuana activists are so optimistic about the chances of legalization this session, they now have one of their own as Speaker of the House,” said Republican Party of New Mexico Spokesman Tucker Keene. “Egolf has failed to disclose a clear conflict of interest with regard to the marijuana industry. There are many different bills relating to marijuana in the legislature this year, and Egolf has a vested financial and professional interest in ensuring that those bills get passed.”
As Speaker, Egolf will have the power to decide the fate of 10 house bills relating to marijuana legalization this year:
HB 89 Cannabis Revenue and Freedom Act
HB 102 Marijuana Tax Act
HB 144 Industrial Hemp Research Rules
HB 154 Industrial Hemp Research and Development
HB 155 Medical Cannabis Research
HB 166 Exempt Hemp from Controlled Substances
HB 280 Industrial Hemp Research Rules
HB 334 Local Approval of Medical Marijuana Locations
HB 348 Medical Marijuana Tribal Agreements
HB 351 Define & Schedule Cannabidiol
“Egolf has already shown that he’s willing to ignore House rules and procedure to help big donors to the Democrat party and their allies,” said Keene. “He’s given his pro-marijuana colleagues every reason to believe he’ll do the same for his personal legal clients.”