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New Mexico Considers Changes to Limit Recreational Cannabis Tourism

Regulators in New Mexico held a public hearing this week to discuss rules for the state’s forthcoming recreational cannabis market. 

The state’s Regulation and Licensing Department, as well as its Cannabis Control Division, fielded questions and comments from the public during last Thursday’s hearing over the rules that will govern cannabis retailers and manufacturers.

Local websiteNM Political Report the comments at the hearing “varied from proposed regulations for packaging requirements, general business practices to cannabis deliveries to both businesses and residences.”

Katy Duhigg was the highlight of this meeting. She is a Democratic State Senator and also works as an Albuquerque cannabis lawyer. Duhigg “brought up a series of issues she said she would like to see changed and offered specific suggestions,” according to the website It was reported that she “took issue with a proposed requirement that cannabis manufactures prove they have access to water rights because manufacturing doesn’t necessarily use water the same way cultivation does.”

“Requiring all manufacturers to prove water rights for their application, I think, is unreasonably burdensome, because it’s just not going to be a factor for a number of them,” Duhigg said, as quoted by NM Political Report

New Mexico lawmakers passed a bill allowing adults to use recreational cannabis during an extraordinary legislative session that took place in spring. Michelle Lujan Grisham (Democratic Governor) signed the bill into law. New Mexico now has a legal cannabis market for the first ever time. 

After failing to pass a law legalizing marijuana during their regular 60-day sessions, Grisham convened a special session. This was to ensure that the legislation is passed.

“The unique circumstances of the session, with public health safeguards in place, in my view, prevented the measures on my call from crossing the finish line,” Grisham said at the time. “While I applaud the Legislature and staff for their incredible perseverance and productivity during the 60-day in the face of these challenges, we must and we will forge ahead and finish the job on these initiatives together for the good of the people and future of our great state.”

Grisham’s office specifically cited the legalization bill as a reason for the special session.

“With general, across-the-aisle agreement on the importance of the legalization initiative, the governor intends to see through final passage of this potentially significant economic driver, which is estimated to create over 11,000 jobs and ensure New Mexico is not left behind as more and more states adopt adult-use cannabis legalization,” the governor’s office said at the time.

It paid off, and New Mexico lawmakers soon passed The Cannabis Regulation Act. This law legalized recreational marijuana use for those aged 21 years or older. 

Officially, the new law went into effect June 29. It allows such adults to possess up to 2 ounces outside and even more within their homes.

According to the Cannabis Regulation Act (Cannabis Regulation Act), regulated cannabis sales must start by April 1, 2022.

At the public hearing last Thursday, participants like Duhigg addressed some of the stipulations in the bill, including one requiring cannabis producers to “show that they have legal access to water after many members of the public raised concerns about New Mexico’s scarce water supply,” according to NM Political Report

The website said that Duhigg with a “provision that would limit cannabis retail businesses from giving away free products to anyone but medical cannabis patients,” as well as one that “would limit cannabis deliveries to residential addresses.”

The latter, she said, will “reduce cannabis tourism in New Mexico.”