Retail Technology

New Mexico Cannabis Laws Guide

Cannabis is legal in New Mexico for both medical and adult use. Our New Mexico Cannabis Laws post is a guide for dispensaries in 2024.

Important things to know about New Mexico Laws in relation to Cannabis:

  • In New Mexico, it's okay to use marijuana for adult or medicinal reasons.
  • You need to be 21 to buy marijuana.
  • You can have two ounces, but having more than eight is a serious crime.
  • You can grow up to six plants.
  • There are legal consequences if you have or grow too much marijuana.

Since introducing medical cannabis in 2007, New Mexico took another step forward by legalizing cannabis for adults through the passage of House Bill 2 in 2021. This marked the state's transition into the 18th in the nation to permit adult-use cannabis. Subsequently, in 2024, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham proudly announced that the cannabis market in New Mexico had surged into a billion-dollar industry, with combined sales from both medical and recreational marijuana surpassing the $1 billion mark.

Whether you're a New Mexico resident indulging in cannabis or an entrepreneur operating a dispensary in bustling cities like Albuquerque, serene towns like Las Cruces, or culturally rich areas like Santa Fe, knowing the intricacies of the state's cannabis laws is useful.

This blog post serves as a comprehensive guide, outlining the fundamental laws and regulations governing cannabis in New Mexico, ensuring that both consumers and dispensary operators are well-informed and compliant with the law. 

Is Marijuana Legal in New Mexico?

Yes, both medical and recreational marijuana are allowed in New Mexico. If you're a New Mexican, you can use marijuana for medical reasons if you're registered for the state's medical cannabis program, have a medical marijuana card, and got a prescription from a doctor. But if you're under 18, you can't use it for medical reasons unless a grown-up in New Mexico, like a parent, is taking care of you and allows it. That grown-up must be 21 or older. 

For rec purposes, the Cannabis Regulation Act says adults over 21 can use marijuana. Starting from June 29, 2021, adults can buy, own, use, and share up to 2 ounces (about 56 grams) of marijuana, 16 grams of concentrate, and 800 milligrams of edibles. Selling recreational cannabis in New Mexico started on April 1, 2022.

As for dispensaries, since 2007, New Mexico has allowed licensed producers to cultivate up to 450 cannabis plants and permitted dispensaries to sell these products to patients from a retail location. If you want to sell cannabis, your business must obtain a producer/dispensary license.

In March 2024, Marijuana Business Daily reported that the total sales of legal medical and recreational marijuana in New Mexico have reached a milestone, exceeding $1 billion in less than two years since the state introduced its adult-use market. It’s a thriving market so it’s no wonder cannabis entrepreneurs might want to open a dispensary in New Mexico. 

New Mexico Dispensary Applications and License Renewals: A Step-by-Step Guide

When you're applying for a new cannabis retail license or renewing an existing one in New Mexico, there are some key things you'll need to provide. Here's a breakdown to help you through the process:

  1. Contact Information: You'll need to give your personal and business details, like your legal name, address, phone number, and email. Make sure to include information about everyone who has control over the business.
  2. Proof of Age: You and anyone in control of the business must be at least 21 years old. This is confirmed with government-issued ID.
  3. Good Standing Certification: If you've previously done business in New Mexico, you'll need to show that you're in good standing with the Secretary of State.
  4. Criminal History Check: You'll need to list everyone who controls the business, any past involvement in other cannabis companies, name changes, and undergo a criminal background check.
  5. Disclosure of Criminal Convictions: Provide detailed descriptions of any past criminal convictions for you and your team, along with statements showing any rehabilitation efforts.
  6. Compliance Certifications: You must certify that you'll follow all the rules laid out in the Cannabis Regulation Act and other relevant laws. This includes meeting standards for retail, transportation, security, quality control, environmental protection, and health and safety.
  7. Clean Record: You can't have had any previous licenses denied, suspended, or revoked in the cannabis industry, and you can't hold a liquor license.
  8. Local Compliance: You need to show that you comply with all local business and zoning laws.
  9. Facility Details: Provide a detailed layout and description of your dispensary, including how you'll handle retail and security.
  10. Social and Economic Equity Plan: Show how you'll promote diversity in hiring and support underserved rural communities.
  11. Statement of Truth: Sign a statement confirming that everything in your application is true, under penalty of perjury.
  12. Application Fee: Finally, you'll need to pay any required fees.

By following these steps and providing all the necessary information, you'll be on your way to getting or renewing your cannabis retail license in New Mexico.

Here's How Cannabis is Legally Sold in New Mexico:

Different types of licenses allow cannabis businesses to operate. For example, those with a Non-Profit Producers license can grow cannabis plants, make products, and sell them to registered patients. This license covers everything from seed to selling. 

Businesses with Adult-Use Producer Licenses can sell cannabis products wholesale. Those with Adult-Use Retailer Licenses can sell products to patients, caregivers, or directly to consumers. Some licenses, like Vertically Integrated Cannabis Establishment and Integrated Cannabis Microbusiness, allow businesses to sell marijuana.

You can buy marijuana in different forms like waxes, topicals, tinctures, and more. Medical cannabis users can also buy equipment for their use. You can purchase medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries. Since April 1, 2022, New Mexicans can also legally buy cannabis for recreational use from licensed retailers.

2024 New Mexico Marijuana Laws: What to keep in mind

Passing of HB 2:

  • New Mexico passed HB 2, also known as the Cannabis Regulation Act, in March 2021.
  • Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the bill into law on April 12, 2021.

Provisions of HB 2:

  • Legalizes and regulates cannabis for adults aged 21 and older.
  • Allows home cultivation of up to six plants.
  • Establishes a tiered industry licensure system.
  • Creates the state Cannabis Control Division overseen by the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Division.
  • Licenses 10 types of cannabis businesses, including producers, retailers, and microbusinesses.

Rules for Consumption:

  • Consumption allowed only in designated "cannabis consumption areas."
  • Prohibits smoking, vaporizing, or ingesting marijuana in public places.

Employer Policies:

  • Employers can maintain drug-free workplace rules for employee safety.
  • Employers can prohibit or take action against employees for marijuana impairment or possession at work.

Retail Sales:

  • Adults aged 21 and older can purchase recreational marijuana.
  • Limits on possession: 2 ounces of cannabis, 16 grams of concentrates, and 800 milligrams of edibles.
  • Retail sales began on April 1, 2022.

Advertising Restrictions:

  • Prohibits advertising to persons under 21, especially using imagery appealing to children.
  • Bans cannabis ads near schools, day-cares, or churches.


  • Imposes a 12% excise tax plus 8% sales tax on cannabis purchases.
  • Excise tax increases by 1% annually until reaching 18% in 2030.
  • Medical marijuana products are tax-exempt.

Local Regulations:

  • Municipalities can use zoning to control the number and location of cannabis businesses.
  • Local governments cannot fully ban cannabis businesses.

Restorative Justice Provisions:

  • HB 2 lacks explicit provisions for restorative justice.
  • Separate bill SB 2 allows for automatic expungement of certain cannabis-related offenses.

Legalization of Medical Marijuana in New Mexico:

  • Medical marijuana legalized in 2007 through the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act.
  • Governed by the New Mexico Department of Health's Medical Cannabis Program.
  • Patients aged 18 and older with a medical marijuana card and recommendation can purchase from licensed dispensaries.
  • Patients under 18 must designate a caregiver over 21 to purchase on their behalf.
  • There are over 120 licensed dispensaries in New Mexico.
  • Limits on purchase: up to 230 units or 8 ounces over a 90-day period. 

Legislation For Dispensaries Can Market and Advertise Marijuana in New Mexico

In New Mexico, there are specific guidelines for how cannabis products can be advertised and marketed by dispensaries. Here's a closer look at what these laws suggest:

Required Legal Practices:

  • Advertisements and marketing materials must clearly indicate who is responsible for them, ensuring transparency for consumers.
  • To minimize exposure to minors, ads should be placed where at least 70% of the audience is expected to be 21 years or older, backed by reliable data. Licensees must provide audience composition data upon request and promptly comply with regulations or remove non-compliant advertisements.
  • All advertisements must include the phrase "Please Consume Responsibly" and provide warnings about age restrictions, potential health risks, lack of FDA approval, dangers of operating machinery while under the influence, and specific risks to pregnant or breastfeeding women. These warnings must be prominently displayed in a font size that is at least 10% of the largest font used in the advertisement.
  • Certain advertising channels, such as radio, television, internet pop-ups, and mass transit vehicles, are generally prohibited unless the audience is confirmed to be 21 or older.
  • Advertisements must not engage in deceptive, misleading, false, or fraudulent practices.
  • Claims about health benefits must be substantiated by substantial evidence or clinical data to prevent misleading consumers.
  • Advertising is restricted within 300 feet of schools, day-care centers, or churches to limit exposure to minors.
  • Symbols, images, or celebrity likenesses that appeal to minors, as well as mimicking non-cannabis products marketed to minors, are prohibited in advertisements.
  • Advertisements must not target minors, promote excessive consumption, or depict the actual consumption of cannabis products.

New Mexico Dispensary Branding Guidelines:

  • Branding, including the promotion of a cannabis establishment's name, logo, or design, is not considered advertising or marketing but should still adhere to guidelines to prevent appeal to minors.
  • Logos and designs should avoid elements that may attract children or resemble products marketed to minors.
  • Brands must refrain from targeting minors, encouraging overconsumption, or depicting the consumption of cannabis in their branding efforts.

Seed Technology for New Mexico Cannabis Retail Dispensaries

At Seed, we understand the importance of adhering to legal implications when it comes to advertising and marketing in the cannabis industry. Our technology ensures that your New Mexico dispensary stays compliant while maximizing sales potential.

With Seed's digital engagement software, you can:

  • Customize your digital menu boards to include required warnings and disclaimers, such as "Please Consume Responsibly" and health risk information.
  • Use our digital TV menu capabilities to showcase your products without violating advertising regulations.
  • Easily update your digital menus to reflect any changes in regulations or restrictions, ensuring ongoing compliance.
  • Seamlessly integrate with major POS and e-commerce platforms to ensure accurate and up-to-date product information is displayed at all times.

With Seed, you can confidently use technology to enhance your dispensary's marketing efforts while remaining legally compliant in New Mexico.

Schedule a demo to discuss how Seed TV, interactive, and self-service can help make your New Mexico dispensary profitable.

Disclaimer: The content presented on this website and any associated pages has been assembled by solely for informational purposes. It is not meant to constitute, and should not be treated as, legal advice. This information is accurate as of 4/20/2024. Given the swiftly evolving nature of cannabis regulations and laws, it is imperative to consult legal counsel for any cannabis legal advice, as laws may have changed since the provided date.


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