Medical Cannabis Laws in New Mexico
Governor Bill Richardson signs into law Senate Bill 523, the “Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act”
The bill allowed the use of cannabis with a physician’s recommendation for treatment of certain medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy.
Was preceded by the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act (1978), which gave access to 250 patients with cancer.
Telehealth for Cannabis in New Mexico
Telehealth is not usually legal for medical cannabis consultations in New Mexico, but this has been waived during COVID-19. You can join a waitlist to see a compassionate and friendly medical marijuana physician with Leafwell today.
Recreational Cannabis Laws in New Mexico
- 1999 – Republican Governor Gary Johnson set off a political firestorm in the state when he endorsed the policy of drug legalization. Johnson called for the legalization of cannabis and said that the drug’s dangers had been significantly exaggerated.
- 2019 – House Bill 356 was introduced. The bill died in the final days of the legislative session when the state Senate Finance Committee, chaired by John Arthur Smith, refused to give the bill a hearing.
- 2019 – Decriminalization. Possession of up to 1⁄2 ounce (14 g) of cannabis a petty misdemeanor offense, punishable by a $50 fine.
- 2021 – HB 2 legalizes recreational cannabis.
Possession of cannabis for adults 21 and over becomes legal on June 29, 2021. No possession limit applies at home while a two ounce limit applies outside the home.
Personal cultivation of six mature plants and six immature plants is allowed per person, with a limit of 12 mature plants per residence.
Retail sales of cannabis will begin by April 1, 2022. A 12% excise tax will apply in addition to regular sales taxes. The excise tax will increase 1% each year beginning in 2025, until reaching 18% in 2030.
No limit is specified on the number of retail licenses to be issued. Local governments cannot ban dispensaries entirely but can limit the number allowed or restrict where they are located.
Public consumption remains illegal, but businesses can offer on-site consumption if certain requirements are met.
Any arrests or convictions for acts made legal by the bill will automatically be expunged.
Benefits of having a Medical Marijuana Card in a Recreational State Like New Mexico (NM)
Excise tax of 12% on recreational cannabis sales will not apply to medical cannabis for qualified, registered patients.
Higher possession limits – 8 oz. for medical patients, compared to 2 oz. for recreational.
Recreational sales are not available yet.
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis Patients in New Mexico
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Crohn’s Disease
- Damage to the Nervous Tissue of the Spinal Cord (with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity)
- Epilepsy/Seizure Disorder
- Friedreich’s Ataxia
- Hepatitis C Infection currently receiving antiviral therapy
- Hospice Care
- Huntington’s disease
- Inclusion Body Myositis
- Inflammatory Autoimmune-mediated Arthritis
- Intractable Nausea/Vomiting
- Lewy Body Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Opioid Use Disorder
- Painful Peripheral Neuropathy
- Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Severe Anorexia/Cachexia
- Severe Chronic Pain
- Spasmodic Torticollis (Cervical Dystonia)
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy
- Ulcerative Colitis
Cannabis Laws and Children (Minors) in New Mexico
You must be aged 18 or over to qualify for medical marijuana yourself. Those aged under 18 will need a caregiver.Caregivers must be aged 18 years-oldor over. The primary caregiver is designated by a patient’s practitioner as necessary to take responsibility for managing the well-being of a qualified patient with respect to the medical use of cannabis. Primary caregiver must be a resident of New Mexico.
School districts in New Mexico must allow students access to medically prescribed cannabis on school grounds, as long as it is not administered via smoke or vapor and not administered or possessed by the student.
Cannabis Possession Limits in New Mexico
- For medical card holders = 8 oz. every 90 days
- For recreational users = 2 oz.
No limits on possession within one’s own home.
Cannabis Cultivation Laws in New Mexico
Up to 6 mature plants per person, with a maximum of 12 per household for both medical and recreational growers.
Cannabis and Gun Laws in New Mexico
It is not legal to own a firearm or ammunition at the same time as a medical marijuana identity card in NM.
Cannabis and Employment Law in New Mexico
Unless a failure to do so would cause the employer to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or federal regulations, it is unlawful to take an adverse employment action against an applicant or an employee based on conduct allowed under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. However, employer’s may still prohibit or take adverse employment action against an employee for use of, or being impaired by, medical cannabis on the premises of the place of employment or during the hours of employment. Similarly, if the employee works in a safety-sensitive position, then the employer may take adverse action.
Local Cannabis Laws in New Mexico
Prior to legalization, many cities had their own decriminalization policies. Santa Fe, Bernalillo, Albuquerque and Las Cruces all decriminalized cannabis and reduced punishments.