New Mexico approves hashish guidelines and prepares for legalization

Officials in New Mexico have announced the introduction of rules for cannabis producers and plan to allow interested producers to begin their license applications sometime this week.

The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department announced on Facebook on Aug. 24 that the rules for cannabis producers have been finalized and will go into effect today, and that the agency will be accepting applications sometime this week.

“Producer rules valid today! The rules that come into effect today concern the licensing of cannabis producers – the people and companies that grow and harvest cannabis, ”the post reads. “The rules include plant number limits required by the Cannabis Regulation Act, as well as license fees. The Cannabis Control Division will begin accepting license applications through their streamlined online system later this week. The CCD has 90 days to approve or reject an application once a complete application has been received. “

This is the first round of rules that will be made available to the public. At some point, other important topics with details on dealers and test facilities will follow. These rules must be finalized by January 2022.

“We’re ready for business,” said Linda Trujillo, superintendent of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, of the announcement. “The Cannabis Control Division is committed to assisting licensees to maximize the economic opportunity that adult cannabis sales offer our state.”

The rules were posted on the New Mexico Commission of Public Records website in four separate sections: General Terms, Licensing and Operating Requirements for Cannabis Operations, Cannabis Plant Limits, and Procedures for Resolving Cannabis Supply Bottlenecks in the Medical Cannabis Program and Fees.

One point of concern was the regulations governing permits for large-scale cannabis growers. After two public hearings, the final rule text states that breeders can grow between 6,000 and 8,000 full-grown plants (or up to 10,000 if they have special permission from the state). There are different farm size levels from level 1 (201-1,000 plants), level 2 (1,001-3,000 plants), level 3 (3,001-6,000 plants) and the last level, which contains the above information. Originally, the Cannabis Control Division had set the plant caps at 4,500 per producer.

The regulations also take into account growing concerns about the shortage of medicinal cannabis. “Once the division permits commercial cannabis retailing, cannabis retailers must use reasonable efforts to sell at least 25 percent of their monthly cannabis sales to qualified patients, primary caregivers and mutual participants, or to other licensed cannabis retailers that meet the requirements meet or exceed 25 percent sales to qualified patients, primary caregivers, and mutual participants by December 31, 2022, ”the rules say. The rules also include a plan to resolve additional bottlenecks if they persist through December 2022.

Finally, a section on efforts to promote social justice states that a plan will be drawn up by October 15, 2021 at the latest, containing numerous guidelines on disproportionately affected communities, individual assessments and incentives for applicants for social justice.

New Mexico becomes the 17th state to legalize recreational cannabis, which was made official when Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a law in April 2021. The law, which went into effect June 29, legalizes possession of up to two ounces of cannabis and allows residents to grow up to six fully grown plants for personal use. Recreational cannabis sales are expected to start in April 2022, although it is possible that it could start earlier than April if the rules are well received and not challenged in court.

In addition to announcing the rule, a recent court ruling found that the Department of Health and the Regulatory and Licensing Department cannot enforce restrictions on purchases of medical cannabis or deprive patients of medical cannabis from the rights they receive under state law, thereby reducing the amount of medical cannabis Cannabis that can be bought by patients.

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