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      How To Get a New Mexico Cannabis License

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      Applying for cannabis licenses can look wildly different depending on what state you reside in and which sector of the industry you operate in. Still, in general, it’s rarely an easy feat for interested operators – especially those trying to transition from the legacy market to the legal one.

      Lucky Leaf Expo is here to help when it comes to figuring out the ins and outs of cannabis license applications, including the details of regulations, support in mapping out your business plan, a walkthrough of the application process, and more.

      This article highlights all things New Mexico: from the New Mexico micro grow license application process to the New Mexico recreational dispensary requirements and everything in between.

      Is Cannabis Legal in New Mexico?

      One of the first things you might be wondering is: Is cannabis legal in New Mexico?

      Of course, the existence of this article strongly implies that it is, but to further clarify and confirm: both adult use and medical cannabis are legal for adults age 21 and older to purchase and consume as of June 29, 2021 (via the Cannabis Regulation Act).

      With cannabis legal in the Land of Enchantment, cannabis businesses have stepped out of the shadows, each flocking to obtain a license in New Mexico that would allow them to conduct cannabis production and cannabis sales without coming across any issues.

      Legal consumers are allowed to purchase up to two ounces of cannabis at a time, which is double what many states throughout the nation allow. This gives New Mexican cannabis retailers a major leg up in sales, as larger purchases at a time mean they may not have to work as hard to move the same amount of flower another state is struggling with.

      However, before New Mexican cannabis dispensaries and other types of operators can put this all into practice, they’ll need to first obtain a legal cannabis license.

      What types of cannabis licenses are available in New Mexico?

      Recreational cannabis licenses are overseen and regulated by the Cannabis Control Division in New Mexico. The organization reviews applications and issues licenses to qualifying establishments throughout the cannabis supply chain.

      Obtaining a business license can be incredibly complicated, especially within an industry that is still only partially legal. To help operators navigate this inevitable minefield, the Cannabis Control Division does its best to provide all relevant licensing information beforehand to ensure applicants know how to handle the process with success.

      As an operator, the first thing you’ll want to narrow down is which type of license you’ll need to apply for, depending on which aspect of the industry you’re conducting business in.

      The following types of licenses are available for New Mexican cannabis applicants:

      • Cannabis production license
      • Cannabis manufacturing license
      • Cannabis retailer license
      • Vertically-integrated cannabis establishment license
      • Cannabis testing laboratory license
      • Cannabis research laboratory license
      • Cannabis courier license
      • Cannabis consumption area license
      • Cannabis additional premises license (for the following):
        • Cannabis producer
        • Cannabis manufacturer
        • Cannabis retailer
      • Integrated cannabis microbusiness license
      • Cannabis production microbusiness license

      There’s quite a wide variety available, but in general, all of these licenses fall under one of three umbrellas: production, manufacturing, or retail.

      Depending on which of these categories your business falls under, you’ll want to refer to New Mexico’s cannabis license checklists to ensure you have everything in order before beginning the application process.

      Here’s a top-line summary of what you’ll need to prepare for each category. Keep in mind this (and the accompanying application fees) will vary slightly depending on whether you’re a vertically-integrated business, a standalone business, or a micro business:

      Cannabis Production License Checklist

      • An outlined social and economic equity plan
      • Proof of age for every controlling person in the application
      • Authorization for release of information form
      • Premise requirements (if applicable)
        • Demonstration of a water right
        • OSE accession form
        • Water and energy use plan

      Cannabis Manufacturing License Checklist

      • An outlined social and economic equity plan
      • Proof of age for every controlling person in the application
      • Authorization for release of information form
      • Premise requirements (if applicable)
        • Demonstration of a water right
        • Water and energy use plan
      • New Mexico Edible and Topical Manufacturer Certification, or an LP Permit from the Construction Industries Division of the Regulation and Licensing Department.

      Cannabis Retail License Checklist

      • An outlined social and economic equity plan
      • Proof of age for every controlling person in the application
      • Authorization for release of information form

      New Mexico recreational dispensary license application process

      For cannabis dispensaries in New Mexico, the license application process will look slightly different. You’ll still be required to submit an outlined social and economic equity plan, proof of age for every employee involved, and all relevant releases of information and other similar forms.

      Applying for a license also confirms your consent to a criminal history background check being run annually in order to renew the license. You’ll also have to show you’re taking necessary steps towards compliance, finance, security, and any other detail that plays a hand in successful and safe operations.

      Zoning laws will also strictly apply to dispensaries, meaning you’ll have to ensure the location you’ve selected isn’t too close to a school or daycare, or another dispensary in the area. Local governments may have additional requirements.

      New Mexico micro grow license application process

      As we mentioned earlier, New Mexico’s cannabis program offers options for microbusinesses: a.k.a., vertically-integrated cannabis businesses that conduct a variety of operations under one roof, like growing, manufacturing, and selling products.

      The fees for these types of licenses are slightly lower, depending on the number of activities your business plans to conduct. You’ll also have slightly different requirements for each application if you’re a micro business, so be sure to consult those specific checklists if you know you fall under this umbrella.

      Obtaining a Cannabis Business License in New Mexico: The Sky’s the Limit

      Obtaining a cannabis license in any region is a somewhat complicated and laborious task, but it’ll be well worth it when you’re able to open your doors for business without having to look over your shoulder constantly.

      Not only will this process help you obtain your legal license, but it will help instill parameters for compliance in your mind, which will make the ongoing operations that much more seamless for you.

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