Press Release

New Mexico’s Cannabis Regulation Act Takes Effect Tuesday, Officially Legalizing Possession & Home Grow, Sales to Follow in 2022

Comprehensive Legalization Law is the First Step in Repairing the Harms of Prohibition that Has Devastated New Mexico Communities for Decades

Contact: 
Matt Sutton 212-613-8026
[email protected]

Santa Fe, NM – With the New Mexico Cannabis Regulation Act becoming law tomorrow, Tuesday, June 29, Emily Kaltenbach, Senior Director for Resident States and New Mexico for the Drug Policy Alliance, released the following statement:
 
“After decades of people being arrested for simply possessing cannabis or growing a few plants, New Mexicans are finally able to exhale.  Although sales won’t occur until 2022, New Mexicans officially being able to legally possess and cultivate cannabis for personal use is a welcome step in providing long overdue justice for New Mexico communities—particularly Hispanic/Latinx, Black, Native and Indigenous—that have been immensely harmed by the ‘war on drugs.’

“But make no mistake, this fight isn’t over. We still have our work cut out for us to fully repair the damage that has been done as a result of prohibition, and that means advocating for equity and diversity in the new industry and coming back during the 2022 budget session to ensure funds are made available for critical reinvestment in the communities that have been most harmed.”

Background

As of June 29, it becomes lawful for adults in New Mexico to possess and grow cannabis for personal use. Specifically, adults 21 and older may possess up to two ounces of cannabis flower, and up to 16 grams of extracts and 800 milligrams of edibles. It will also be legal to grow at home no more than six mature and six immature cannabis plants per person (maximum of 12 mature/12 immature per household) for adult use cannabis. Purchasing and selling cannabis for adult use will not be legal until at least April 1, 2022. 

The CRA includes various provisions to benefit communities most impacted by marijuana prohibition:

  • Individuals with prior marijuana convictions will be able to apply for a license and work in the marijuana industry without restriction. 
  • The law also requires a new Cannabis Control Division to develop policies and procedures that promote and encourage full participation in the cannabis industry by representatives of:
    • Communities that have been disproportionately harmed by rates of arrest through the enforcement of cannabis prohibitions in law and policy
    • Rural communities likely to be impacted by cannabis production
    • Agricultural producers from economically disadvantaged communities
  • Procedures that promote and encourage racial, ethnic, gender and geographic diversity and New Mexico residency among license applicants, licensees and cannabis industry employees. 
  • The new law requires the development of a technical assistance/resource guide for rural New Mexico residents who are seeking to establish a cannabis business, and to report annually the demographic data on license applicants controlling persons and employees of cannabis establishments, including race, ethnicity, gender, and age.

DPA assisted in the drafting and passage of the Cannabis Regulation Act in 2021 and has drafted, passed and implemented both adult use and medical cannabis legislation in a number of other jurisdictions nationwide. DPA is ever vigilant that medical cannabis patients have access to quality medicine and that communities most impacted by prohibition have opportunities to participate in the new adult use industry.

Marijuana Legalization and Regulation
New Mexico