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Let’s Talk About New Mexico Recreational Cannabis

Apr, 2022
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Is recreational cannabis legal in New Mexico yet? New Mexico marijuana laws are some of the most relaxed in the country, and now things are really – spark your lighter – heating up. Last year, the state signed a bill to legalize New Mexico recreational weed. Now, we’re seeing some beautiful things (and a ton of extra revenue) coming to the state.

So what’s new with New Mexico recreational cannabis? Is recreational cannabis legal in New Mexico? Let’s talk about the state’s new weed laws, what they entail, and the current outcome of these changes. 

new mexico recreational cannabis

Does New Mexico Have Recreational Marijuana?

In April 2021, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Cannabis Regulation Act – a bill to legalize New Mexico recreational weed. New Mexico became the 18th state to legalize recreational cannabis and the fifth to make it happen through the legislative process rather than by voter initiative. 

Gov. Grisham and other supportive lawmakers hope that legalizing adult-use marijuana will decrease black markets, boost employment, and provide a stable new source of government income. 

NM residents need to know: is recreational cannabis legal in New Mexico and available for purchase?

New Mexico Recreational Weed Updates 2022

Now, a year after Gov. Grisham signed the bill, the first licensed sales of recreational cannabis New Mexico took place. So yes, New Mexico recreational weed is very legal as of the first day of April 2022 – and the residents seem to be loving it. 

The state sold over $1.96 million of New Mexico recreational cannabis throughout its first day of retail sales. That is nearly double Colorado’s first day of adult-use sales.

new mexico recreational cannabis

Over the entirety of the first weekend that New Mexico rec weed was available for sale, the state made $5.2 million with medical and adult-use cannabis purchases combined. Adult-use sales alone brought in 3.5 million. These sales came from 87,773 individual transactions from all over the state.

The new industry is projected to generate over $300 million annually in sales, bring in $50 million in state revenue in the first year alone, and create more than 11,000 jobs. New Mexico already has 225 licensed retail outlets for adult-use marijuana. 

New Mexico set records and a new standard for the cannabis industry. Gov. Grisham said that the launch of recreational cannabis in New Mexico has been “one of the most successful, if not the most, of any state.” 

Cannabis Control Division Director Kristen Thomson added that in other states that have launched adult-use sales, retailers have sold out of cannabis products on opening day. But with careful planning, this wasn’t the case for New Mexico.

New Mexico Marijuana Laws

So what exactly does the Cannabis Regulation Act entail? The law states that adults 21 years of age and older can purchase and possess up to two ounces of cannabis for personal use. Residents can possess greater amounts of cannabis if it's stored in a locked space at their home. It cannot be visible from public spaces. 

Possessing between two and eight ounces of marijuana in public could result in a misdemeanor, and over eight ounces of marijuana could result in a felony. Residents are allowed to cultivate up to six mature and six immature marijuana plants. However, any more than that could result in a felony. Public consumption is prohibited with a $50 fine for first-time violations.

But there’s more to it than just its legality. New Mexico’s legalization laws also plan to focus on social equity, which aims to provide reparations and benefits for underrepresented groups disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition. But the state’s social equity program is not yet in place and the timeline is unclear. This is one of NM’s most significant shortcomings so far.

Once the social equity program for cannabis New Mexico is fully operational, the state will resentence individuals incarcerated due to certain cannabis convictions, and they will expunge records with similar convictions under the Expungement and Resentencing Act

When social equity applicants apply for a retail license, the state will waive or significantly reduce the fees. Social equity applicants include Native American and Black residents, low-income residents, those with cannabis convictions, distressed farmers, and transgender/gender non-conforming individuals. 

LEARN MORE: NY Cannabis Takes Huge Steps Towards Social Equity

Nevertheless, with unlimited licensing and microbusiness categories, the state seems to be removing some application barriers in the meantime. For example, the state offers a micro-business license to cultivate up to 200 plants for a flat fee of $1,000.

New Mexico’s Neighborly Concerns

New Mexico itself is thriving, but there are some legal worries next door. The state is concerned about neighboring residents, especially Texans, purchasing New Mexico recreational cannabis and bringing it back to their home state. 

Moving cannabis over state lines is illegal and could result in serious penalties and jail time. Texas, in particular, still practically prohibits pot. 

In Texas, the possession of cannabis concentrates is punishable by up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Medical Cannabis in New Mexico

15 years ago, New Mexico marijuana laws legalized medical marijuana. The state created the Medical Cannabis Program under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, which allows the “beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system” to treat medical conditions. 

new mexico recreational cannabis

This initiative took seven years of lobbying before passing medical cannabis New Mexico. New Mexico was the first state to license cannabis production at the state level. 

Even with New Mexico recreational cannabis legalized, medical marijuana is still booming in the state.

Reap the Medical Benefits With Elevate Holistics

Today we answered: is recreational cannabis legal in New Mexico? Yes! But there are still advantages to having your medical marijuana card. According to New Mexico marijuana laws, dispensaries are required to reserve 20 percent of their inventory for medical marijuana patients. 

Because of this law, patients enrolled in New Mexico's medical cannabis program came first at many NM dispensaries. But that’s not the only benefit. 

Unlike recreational weed, many states tax medical marijuana minimally or not at all, lowering costs. Having a medical card also offers patients more legal protection. 

So what are you waiting for? Available in numerous states, Elevate Holistics offers a fully online, quick, and easy way for patients to get their medical marijuana cards. You deserve to feel better naturally, and we want to help. 

Book an appointment with one of our certified cannabis physicians and get approved for your MMJ card today.


Patient Resources:

Find out more about medical marijuana in New Mexico by reading our FAQs.

Wondering which states accept out-of-state medical cards? (Hint: NM is one of them!) Click here to read a full list.

Learn step-by-step instructions on how to get your medical card in New Mexico by clicking here.