Medical marijuana became fully 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.
Unfortunately, recreational marijuana is still not legalized. It has been decriminalized in some parts of the state, with those found with less than one ounce of marijuana for recreational use only receiving a $25 fine in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Elsewhere in New Mexico, those caught with less than half an ounce of marijuana will receive just a $50 fine. 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. With more progressives taking over senate seats and a governor who’s pro-legalization, we’re hopeful for change come 2021.
With a valid MMJ card or as a designated caregiver, it is quite easy to purchase marijuana in New Mexico. With over 80,000 patients in the state, the industry continues to grow.
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. Unfortunately, recreational marijuana is still not available for purchase, but be on the lookout for legalization hopefully coming in 2021!
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.
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.
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.
Due to recreational marijuana being illegal in New Mexico, there are currently no legal ways to purchase recreational marijuana and as a result, there are also no associated taxes. If the recently tabled bill to legalize recreational marijuana passes in 2021, taxes would be limited to 17-19%.
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 home.
Medical marijuana patients may only use their prescribed cannabis 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:
Areas in New Mexico that DO allow the use of marijuana:
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.
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.
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.
Only patients, caregivers and licensed couriers 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 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.
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.
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.