Cannabis in New Mexico
New Mexico Cannabis Laws
Is Weed Legal in New Mexico?
Yes! New Mexico recently legalized recreational cannabis, making cannabis fully legal in the state. Medical marijuana first became legalized in New Mexico in 2007 with the passing of The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. This allows patients with qualifying conditions to purchase medical marijuana from dispensaries and cultivate marijuana plants.
Recreational cannabis took a bit longer to legalize as it met some roadblocks along the way. In early 2020 Senate Bill 115 was almost passed, which would have permitted adult-use marijuana. However, the bill was tabled until 2021 as some senators felt that it did not have enough regulations in place. In the 2020 election, voters pushed out several of the more conservative members of the legislature in favor of more progressive candidates. This helped pave the way for Governor Lujan Grisham to push a special session to legalize adult-use cannabis. On April 12th, 2021, the governor signed the legislation into place, effectively legalizing cannabis. Unfortunately, the law does not officially go into effect until June 29th, 2021, so residents should be careful. Keep reading for more information!
Buying Marijuana in New Mexico
Currently, only those with a valid MMJ card or a designated caregiver can purchase marijuana in New Mexico. With over 80,000 patients in the state, the industry continues to grow. The state has set a deadline for the recreational cannabis market to open on or before April 1st, 2022. Stay tuned - we will keep this page updated with more information!
Buying Marijuana at a Retail Location
With a wide range of pre-existing conditions and dispensaries spread across the state, it’s not too difficult to become a medical marijuana patient and purchase marijuana. Due to the large presence of medicinal dispensaries in the state, we imagine it will be quite easy for recreational patients to find cannabis once the market officially opens - and hopefully before the planned date of April 1st, 2022.
Using a Marijuana Delivery Service
Delivery of medical marijuana is legal with the courier system that New Mexico has put into place. Couriers are designated delivery drivers who can deliver marijuana products between growers and dispensaries or from dispensaries to patients. Deliveries can only be made to the address listed on a patient or caregiver’s medical marijuana card. As of now, it is unclear whether or not the delivery of adult-use cannabis will be available. We will be sure to keep this updated as more information is known!
There are no restrictions in New Mexico for hours in which dispensaries can be open. That being said, many operate within typical business hours. Be sure to check online before heading to a dispensary near you.
New Mexico is fairly lenient on purchasing restrictions for patients. Those with a valid medical marijuana card can have up to eight ounces or 230 “units” of cannabis within 90 days. 1 unit = 1 gram, or 200 mg of THC in an edible or concentrates. Some quick calculations are required for concentrates: if 1 gram of concentrate is 80% THC, one must move the decimal point over, coming to 800 mg of THC, or 4 units (800 divided by 200). Consumers must keep track of receipts through each 90-day cycle, and make these calculations to make sure they do not overbuy and break the law.
When the adult-use cannabis market in New Mexico opens on or before April 1st, 2022, anyone over 21 will be able to purchase up to 2 ounces of cannabis products.
There are currently no restrictions on what products that medical marijuana patients can purchase. Patients with a valid MMJ card have access to all of the amazing cannabis products on the market - from edibles to concentrates to top-quality flower. Once the recreational market opens in 2022, adult-use consumers will also have access to these products.
Taxes on Marijuana in New Mexico
Taxes on Recreational Marijuana in New Mexico
Once the recreational market opens in 2022, all purchases will have a 12 percent excise tax in addition to the state’s 8 percent sales tax. Starting in 2025, the excise tax rate would grow by 1 percent each year until reaching 18 percent in 2030. Medical cannabis products will continue to be exempt from taxation.
Taxes on Medical Marijuana in New Mexico
There is currently no tax directly on sales of marijuana, although dispensaries and distributors face taxes that are typically passed on to consumers. Recently, the state allowed businesses to claim tax deductions for marijuana considering it is a medical prescription.
Patients with valid medical marijuana cards may possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana flower or products within 90 days. Patients may also have up to 16 plants in their homes. After June 29th, 2021, anyone over 21 may possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis products. They may also grow up to 6 plants per person, or up to 12 per household.
Using Marijuana in New Mexico
Although cannabis has been fully legalized in New Mexico, consumers must smoke in the privacy of their own home out of the public eye. While legislation has been passed to allow dispensaries to apply to have consumption areas as a part of their business, this has been put on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Areas in New Mexico that DO NOT allow the use of marijuana:
- Federal Land
Areas in New Mexico that DO allow the use of marijuana:
- Patient’s homes
Smoking on Federal Lands
Due to the current federal status of marijuana, it is illegal to smoke marijuana on any federal lands, regardless of the legalization in the state. Due to this, whether you’re in Carlsbad Caverns or White Sands National Park, it’s best to leave your marijuana at home.
Medical Marijuana in New Mexico
New Mexico became the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana back in 1978. Lynn Pierson, a student with cancer, fought to make marijuana available for those undergoing chemotherapy to help with the symptoms. While a bill was eventually passed, the Federal government eventually blocked the program. In 2007, the state finally legalized medical marijuana, paying homage to Lynn with The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New Mexico
- Patients must first have one of many conditions to qualify for an MMJ card
- Those wishing to receive a medical marijuana card must be prescribed cannabis by their doctor and apply for the state’s Medical Cannabis Program. A copy of a valid New Mexico ID is required. There is no cost for applying or renewing a medical marijuana card each year.
- Once approved by the MCP, patients will receive a valid medical marijuana card.
Out of State Medical Cards New Mexico
In the summer of 2020, New Mexico allowed reciprocity for out-of-state MMJ cardholders. This program is the only one in the US to also recognize Tribal sovereignty and grant indigenous peoples access to medical marijuana through reciprocity.
How to Transport Marijuana in New Mexico
Transporting Marijuana in New Mexico
Only patients, caregivers, licensed couriers or anyone over 21 (after 6/29/21) can transport marijuana within New Mexico. Cannabis must be out of reach of the driver, either in the trunk or a locked glove box. If driving with marijuana in the car, be sure to have a valid MMJ card on hand or a caregiver’s license.
Driving While Under the Influence of Marijuana
Driving while under the influence of marijuana is highly illegal, no matter what state you’re in. While there is no test or exact level of impairment established in New Mexico, the smell of marijuana or visual detection can warrant police action. It’s wise to have a designated driver if you are planning to drive anytime soon after consuming marijuana. Passengers are also not able to consume marijuana in the car, as the driver could get a secondhand high.
Driving Across State Lines with Marijuana
It is highly illegal to drive across state lines with marijuana, no matter the legal status in both states. Until federal law changes, this will unfortunately always be the case. So if you’re planning on heading to Colorado or Texas after a trip to the dispensary in New Mexico, be sure to finish all of your cannabis.
Growing Marijuana in New Mexico
Patients with a valid medical marijuana card must apply to grow their marijuana in New Mexico. Receiving a Personal Production License is a simple process and only costs $30 each year. Once approved, patients or caregivers may grow up to 16 plants, with 4 allowed to be flowering and 12 immature. Plants must be away from public view, and growers must own their property or receive permission from their landlord. It is important to have a PPL while growing marijuana, as it is a felony to grow without one and could lead to a $10,000 fine and 9 years in prison. Once cannabis is fully legalized on June 29th, 2021, any adult over 21 may grow up to 6 plants in their homes, with up to 12 plants per household.