The New Mexico cannabis industry is watching closely as the state’s new regulator works through its rulemaking process to have regulations in place for adult-use sales to launch April 1, 2022.
The Cannabis Regulation Act, which cleared the New Mexico Legislature and received Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s signature this past spring, became effective June 29 and allows adults 21 and older to possess 2 ounces of cannabis flower, 16 grams of cannabis extract and 800 milligrams of edible cannabis. Adults may also grow up to six plants at home for personal use, with a maximum of 12 plants per household, and cannabis odor and cannabis containers can no longer be used as probable cause for law enforcement to stop, detain or search a person.
The law also includes additional social justice and social equity provisions, such as automatic expungement and specific language that instructs the state to develop a plan to encourage and promote equity in the industry.
“There’s language in there to make sure that people who were formerly incarcerated and who had charges for cannabis-related offenses are able to participate in the new marketplace,” said Emily Kaltenbach, senior director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “We don’t want those individuals to be left out.”
New Mexico’s adult-use cannabis law also created the Cannabis Control Division to regulate and oversee the state’s medical and adult-use cannabis markets. The division published its first round of rules on June 29 and kicked off a public comment period to receive feedback on the proposed regulations. Regulators are currently revising the rules based on the comments received and will hold another hearing Aug. 6.
“The most important thing we’ve commented on was making sure that the equity and justice piece is thought about before the rules are finalized because we don’t want that to be left behind,” Kaltenbach said.