By Jo Mixon
Possession and Personal use of Cannabis (Marijuana) becomes legal tomorrow in New Mexico, but legal Recreational and Sales will not go into effect until April 2022.
Tomorrow, Tuesday June 29, 2021 possession and personal use of cannabis will become legal for adults 21 and over. Recreational use, producing and sales of cannabis will not become legal until next year. That date is expected to be on April 1, 2022.
What does this mean and what portion of the law becomes legal tomorrow?
- Adults 21 and over will be able to grow cannabis at home for personal use. The limit is up to six plants for an individual or 12 plants for a household with two or more adults over 21.
- You do not need a permit to grow cannabis in your home.
- You may NOT use cannabis in public.
- You may NOT sell cannabis that you grow at home.
No one at this time is eligible to purchase, produce or sell cannabis. Next year when the recreational cannabis part of the law goes into effect, adults 21 and older will be able to buy and possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis or 16 ounces of cannabis extract, or up to 800 milligrams of edible cannabis, at one time. But for the next 10 months you cannot legally buy recreational cannabis in New Mexico. No types of recreational cannabis transactions are legal until 2022. Even though using personal cannabis in New Mexico and several other states is legal, it is still prohibited by federal law. That means anyone in possession of a controlled substance or marketing it could still face federal prosecution. Those transferring cannabis across state lines face the greatest risk.
Local governments must update their codes/ordinances to be in compliance with state laws in preparation for legalized recreational cannabis use in New Mexico. Angel Fire began that process at last week’s village council meeting. Cities, towns and counties also need to put ordinances in place for cannabis businesses pertaining to the location of shops, hours of operation, how many may be located within the village limits, etc. But officials cannot outright prohibit cannabis businesses.
Cannabis growers must obtain and have proof of water rights prior to applying for a growers business license. It takes an amazing amount of water to grow a field of cannabis and water rights are limited. Once water rights have been secured, they will need to apply for the proper zoning changes. All businesses will need a facility to grow, manufacture or sell cannabis and a security system, including a vault and security cameras. Due to cannabis not being legal at the federal level, a federal bank cannot be used for the business. The opening date, as of today, for applications is Sept. 1, 2021.
Anyone 21 or older who does not have a criminal conviction for a workplace offense, such as fraud or embezzlement (other criminal convictions also may affect eligibility) is eligible to apply. The rules are still being developed by state legislators.
For more information please visit the state Regulation and Licensing Department’s Cannabis Control Division at ccd.rld.state.nm.us.