New Mexico’s Cannabis Regulation Act has officially become a law starting on Tuesday, June 29. As a result, New Mexico residents over the age of 21 can possess up to two ounces of cannabis. Additionally, residents will be able to grow a total of 12 plants per household. Interestingly, the state has yet to allow legal sales until 2022.
The Beginning of Legal Recreational Use
The Cannabis Regulation Act, known as HB 2, passed the legislature on March 31, 2021. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called for a special meeting and signed the bill on April 12, 2021. June 29 will allow home cultivation and possession. Then, buying and selling cannabis in New Mexico won’t be available until April 1, 2022.
“After decades of people being arrested for simply possessing cannabis or growing a few plants, New Mexicans are finally able to exhale. Although sales won’t occur until 2022, New Mexicans officially being able to possess and cultivate cannabis for personal use legally is a welcome step in providing long-overdue justice for New Mexico communities—particularly Hispanic/Latinx, Black, Native and Indigenous—that have been immensely harmed by the ‘war on drugs.’
DPA assisted in the drafting and passing of the Cannabis Regulation Act in 2021 and has drafted, passed, and implemented both adult-use and medical cannabis legislation in several other jurisdictions nationwide. DPA is ever vigilant that medical cannabis patients have access to quality medicine and that communities most impacted by prohibition have opportunities to participate in the new adult-use industry.
Provision Benefitting New Mexico
The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) assisted New Mexico in the drafting and passage of the Cannabis Regulation Act. Additionally, the organization has drafted, passed, and implemented both adult-use and medical cannabis legislation in several other jurisdictions nationwide. DPA is ever vigilant that medical cannabis patients have access to quality medicine. Additionally, the communities most impacted by prohibition have opportunities to participate in the new adult-use industry.
The CRA includes various provisions to benefit communities most impacted by marijuana prohibition:
- Individuals with prior marijuana convictions will apply for a license and work in the marijuana industry without restriction.
- The law also requires a new Cannabis Control Division to develop policies and procedures that promote and encourage full participation in the cannabis industry by representatives of:
- Communities that rates of arrest have disproportionately harmed through the enforcement of cannabis prohibitions in law and policy
- Agricultural producers from economically disadvantaged communities
- Procedures that promote and encourage:
- ethnic gender
- geographic diversity
- New Mexico residency among license applicants, licensees, and cannabis industry employees.
- The new law requires the development of a technical assistance/resource guide for rural New Mexico residents seeking to establish a cannabis business and annually reports the demographic data on license applicants controlling persons and employees of cannabis establishments, including race, ethnicity, gender, and age.