Is Weed Legal in New Mexico?

Is Weed Legal in New Mexico? Where can you buy weed in New Mexico? What about Medicinal Marijuana? Find out in this article.

New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment. Being the United State's wine country with delicious food staples such as tamales, carne adovadas and huevos rancheros. Accompanying their beautiful food is the alluring landscape of the state. The caverns near Carlsbad being one of the most striking natural rock formations in the world, what isn't there to love about New Mexico?

In recent years, the popularity and upcoming legalization of cannabis in the United States has skyrocketed. With more and more states legalizing the plant for both medicinal and recreational purposes – is New Mexico one of them?

The question is: Is Weed Legal in New Mexico?

History of Weed

The timeline starts in early 1978, where New Mexico became the first state in the United States of America to pass legalization in the medicinal marijuana field. New Mexico recognised the value of marijuana with it's purpose of medicinal help and creating the first stepping stone for the rest of the US to follow.

The New Mexico Legislature passed SB 523, a senate bill relating to the "Controlled substances; Enacting the compassionate use medicinal marijuana act; amending provisions of the controlled substances act". This bill legalized medical weed and had an established system regulated by the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH).

Following this, in Albuquerque, New Mexico's biggest city, had decriminalized the possession of 1 ounce of weed in 2018. With an issued $25 fine if found with the substance.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in New Mexico?

Is Medical Weed Legal in New Mexico? Yes, medical marijuana is legal in New Mexico.

New Mexico was the first state to recognise the medicinal value of marijuana back in 1978. However, it is only legal for patients with qualifying conditions.

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, these qualifying conditions are the following:

  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease
  • Anorexia
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Cervical dystonia
  • Crohn's disease
  • Epilepsy and seizure disorders
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hospice care
  • Huntington's disease
  • Inclusion-body myositis
  • Inflammatory autoimmune-mediated arthritis
  • Intractable nausea or vomiting
  • Intractable spasticity
  • Lewy body disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Severe chronic pain
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
  • Ulcerative colitis

Qualifying patients have access to a maximum of 8 ounces (227 grams) of weed over the duration of a three moth period. And in order to access this medical marijuana, patients must submit for a valid New Mexico Identification card to the NMDOH. As a result of this, patients will subsequently be added to the New Mexico Registry and will be able to purchase and consumer medical marijuana.

How to Acquire a Medical Marijuana Card in New Mexico

Qualifying patients must have their condition approved by a physician and receive a physician's certification. After this, they must submit an application and a New Mexico Identification card to the NMDOH. Upon approval, the registration is valid for up to one year.

  1. Complete a patient registry application
  2. Obtain a valid written certification from a qualified healthcare provider
  3. Provide a state-issued driver's license or identification card to establish proof of New Mexico residency
  4. Designate a caregiver, if applicable
  5. Receive a registry identification card; there is no fee for the card

Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in New Mexico?

Montana legalization

Is Weed Legal in New Mexico?

As of April 2021, a new law was signed and passed for the possession of recreational weed. So, yes! Recreational Marijuana will be Legal in New Mexico.

Recreational cannabis sales will commence as of April 2022. The new law signed makes it legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to 2 ounces (56 grams) of flower, 16 grams of concentrate, and 800 milligrams of edibles outside the home and an unspecified amount at home in a hidden, locked container. This law become effective on June 29, 2021 and retail sales with begin no later than April 1, 2022.

New Mexico will be the 7th state since November 2020 to cease pot prohibition, following other states such as Arizona and New Jersey.

It is good for workers. It is good for entrepreneurs. It's good for consumers. And it brings about social justice in ways in which we have been talking about and advocating for, for decades.Michelle Lujan Grisham, Governor of New Mexico

Along with the newly legalized weed laws, New Mexico will levy an excise tax  on recreational pot sales that starts at 12% and rises over time to 18%, on top of current taxes on sales.

Where to Buy Weed in New Mexico?

Currently, medical marijuana can only be purchased from state licensed nonprofit producers by qualified patients and caregivers only. Some of these state licensed nonprofit producers are:

  • Cannaceutics in Albuquerque
  • GrassRoots RX in Albuquerque
  • Southwest Organic Producers (SWOP) in Albuquerque
  • New Mexico Top Organics – Ultra Health in Roswell
  • R. Greenleaf Organics in Grants
  • Pecos Valley Production in Clovis
  • Compassionate Distributers, INC in Las Cruces
  • Organtica in Silver City
  • Red Barn Growers in Gallup
  • New Mexico Alternative care in Farmington
  • Minerva Canna Group in Los Lunas

Qualified patients may also apply for a personal production license, allowing them to grow cannabis for personal use.

Laws with Weed in New Mexico

Although a law has been passed for the legalization of weed in New Mexico, it does not come into effect until June 29, 2021. Until then, the following fines and criminal offences apply.

Marijuana possession is still illegal and those caught in the possession of half an ounce of marijuana will be fined by $50. Consequently, if an individual is found with more cannabis on hand, they will face steeper penalties and jail time.

According to Weed Maps, "possession of up to 8 ounces (226 grams) of flower or 64 grams of extract can result in a  misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Beyond that, it's a felony with a sentence of 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine to start."

"On July 1, 2020, New Mexico began allowing out-of-state patients to purchase medical marijuana within the state. The legislation permits patients from any state, the District of Columbia, US territories, and New Mexico native tribes to purchase cannabis in-state."

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Catherine Phung
Catherine Phung

Catherine Phung is a full time university student pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce, Majoring in Marketing at UNSW. Catherine has interests in baking, powerlifting and is venturing into research within the cannabis industry.