The governor of New Mexico signed the Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA), in June 2021 to pave the way for legalized adult recreational marijuana use, scheduled to begin in 2022. New Mexico realizes the economic driver of legalized marijuana and limitless potential for creating thousands of good paying jobs for many years into the future. New Mexico is breaking new ground and recently announced in December 2021, the final rules for cannabis manufacturing, retail, and courier businesses.

The New Mexico Cannabis Control Division, CCD, has recently released detailed regulations and restrictions about cannabis license types. With these regulations now in place, New Mexico can continue the licensing process for cannabis businesses and move forward with the first adult use sales ready to begin April 1, 2022. The CCD has been accepting license applications for cannabis manufacturing and retail businesses through the online licensing system.

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Rules for Cannabis Manufacturing in New Mexico

Under the final rules, cannabis manufacturers are prohibited from adding nicotine or caffeine to any cannabis products other than naturally occurring caffeine which is tolerated. There are four classes of Cannabis manufacturing licenses:

  • Class I: relates to companies that package or repackage already manufactured cannabis products.
  • Class II: relates to companies that manufacture edibles or topical products.
  • Class III: for companies manufacturing marijuana extracts, extracting, through mechanical methods or with non-volatile solvents. The rules limit the methods of extracting that can be used, and prohibit using particular additives like vitamin E acetate, a topical additive that was linked to several lung injuries in 2019 and 2020. These companies can also conduct Class I and Class II activities.
  • Class IV: for companies manufacturing extracts with volatile solvents or supercritical CO These companies may also conduct Class I, II  and Class III activities.

Along with establishing these rules for cannabis manufacturers, emergency safety rules were also established.

Rules for Retail Cannabis Businesses in New Mexico

Adults 21 years of age and over, or people 18 years old and over with a valid medical marijuana patient card or primary caregiver identification card, will be allowed inside retail cannabis establishments. Cannabis retail businesses are allowed to take product out to display to customers but then that product must be destroyed, it cannot be consumed or sold. Retailers are also not allowed to give out free samples.

New Mexico Rules for Cannabis Courier Companies

Cannabis courier companies, providing delivery services to customers, are limited to carrying a maximum retail value of products up to $10,000. Couriers are also not allowed to carry packages for more than 24 hours out for delivery. Delivery recipients must be 21 or over, or 18 with a qualified medical patient or caregiver card and must be electronically pre-verified to receive a courier delivery of cannabis.

While residents are waiting for dispensaries to open, it is legal for adults to grow their own plants at home  with a limit of six mature and six immature plants. If multiple adults live in the same household, there is a maximum of 12 mature and 12 immature plants allowed for home growing in New Mexico.

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