Cannabis Laws in New Mexico Cannabis Laws

New Mexico has had an association with medical cannabis for a long time. In 1978, medical use was permitted, but only through a federally-approved research program. This means that New Mexico passed the first medical cannabis laws in the US. Medical use was legalized by the state in 2007. Recreational cannabis was legalized in 2021, with the first legal sales expected to occur by April, 2022.

  • Fully Legal

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.

New call-to-action

Recreational Cannabis Laws in New Mexico

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.

New call-to-action

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis Patients in New Mexico

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.