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New Mexico Releases Final Adult-Use Cannabis Rules

New Mexico Cannabis Control Division (CCD), announced December 28th that they had finalized rules for retailers, manufacturers and couriers. These final rules were published by the New Mexico Cannabis Control Division (CCD) in Issue 24. New Mexico Register. At the moment, hundreds of license applications are under review. 

They are immediately effective, and last-minute changes will follow several rounds of comments from CEOs, owners of small businesses, and others. 

“Every day brings us closer to the first adult-use cannabis sales in New Mexico,” Cannabis Control Division Director Kristen Thomson said in a press release. “Thanks to the Cannabis Control Division’s open and transparent rule-making process over the past six months, businesses and consumers can be confident that all necessary support and protection is in place to ensure a thriving cannabis industry in our state.” 

The state Cannabis Regulation Act states that adult sales will start in New Mexico by April 1, 2022. These rules, which took effect Tuesday, include new manufacturing rules. They replace the emergency manufacturing rules from last fall and are intended to improve worker safety as well as workplace safety.

With new restrictions, the rules govern licensing retail shops. These rules govern the safe and correct distribution of cannabis products via licensed couriers. 

The CCD received 300 submissions across all sectors of the industry, according to a press release. 

“Our dedicated team of professionals is working hard through the holidays and… every day to work with applicants to get licenses issued and businesses up and running,” Thomson said. “Standing up a thriving new industry is no small feat, and I know that our team, our system and New Mexico’s prospective licensees are up to the challenge. New Mexico will be ready for adult-use sales in 2022.”

Manufacturing Rules

Under the final rules manufacturers are prohibited from adding nicotine and caffeine to cannabis products. Naturally-occuring caffeine however is permitted. There are four types of manufacturing licenses:

  • The packaging or repackaging of products already made is class I
  • Class II: Manufacturing edibles and topical products using already-extracted materials; Class I can be used to conduct activities.
  • Class III: Manufacturing of extracts or extractions using nonvolatile solvents and mechanical methods; also allows for the conduct of Class I and II activities
  • Class IV: extraction (manufacturing of extracts) with volatile solvents and supercritical CO2; also can conduct Class I-III, Class II and Class III activities

Retail Guidelines

Customers aged 21 or over and those 18 years and older who have a valid card identifying themselves as a qualified patient, primary caregiver, or participant in the reciprocal registry will be permitted inside once retail sales start on April 1, 2022.

While retailers can display cannabis from the packaging, they cannot sell or consume it. It is also forbidden for retailers to give away free samples. There are many other restrictions.

Courier Rules (Delivery)

Couriers cannot transport products with a retail value greater than $10,000. Additionally, couriers can not deliver packages more than 24 hours. Deliverees will need to be identified. They must be either 21 or over, 18 years of age as primary caregiver or qualified patient in medical cannabis, and pre-verified electronically prior to receiving cannabis.

You can find the complete list of final rules on New Mexico Commission of Public Records.

The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department had issued a license to the first company, Mother’s Meds, to operate as a cannabis cultivator on November 1.

Deadlines were tight, but the state’s leadership pulled together. The rules for adult-use cannabis are now in effect four months earlier than the original plan. The Cannabis Regulation Act was adopted earlier in the year. Cannabis industry rules must be in place before January 1, 2022. Adult-use cannabis sales should begin on April 1, 2022.