As of June 29, 2021, recreational-use marijuana is legal in the Land of Enchantment: the state of New Mexico. Now, adults over the age of 21 can legally possess, use, and grow cannabis for recreational purposes, as opposed to solely medical. Before June 29, 2021, medical use marijuana was the only legal form in the state, and registered patients could only cultivate 4 plants at home. Now, adults can grow 6 plants at home with a maximum of 12 in a household with more than one adult.
Even though it is legal in New Mexico, retail sales have not started; they will begin no later than April 1 because the state needs to make rules and issue licenses. The first rulemaking proposal session took place on June 26, 2021, where hundreds of people joined via teleconference. Many people expressed their concern with equity, as people who are starting a cannabis business feel the state is not trying to help minorities. There is no financial aid to Native New Mexicans, who are complaining that farmers won’t be able to pay for the starting batch of cannabis, or any expensive materials it requires to cultivate. Essentially, this means that big businesses will be able to come in and establish cannabis businesses before locals are able to. Another major issue that is being discussed is the excessive water consumption. Many New Mexicans are concerned that the excessive use of water that cannabis requires to grow will negatively affect the state’s environment, as the climate there is already dry. New Mexico’s economy will also be greatly affected, and the state government is encouraging homegrown entrepreneurship.
Professor Julie A. Werner-Simon states, in New Mexico’s Bar Bulletin, that New Mexico’s state motto in Latin is “crescit eundo,” which translates to “It grows as it goes.” Ever since the legalization of cannabis in New Mexico, many Native New Mexicans have believed this motto has a new meaning: “marijuana will grow, and folks will certainly go.” The craft of the words certainly represents New Mexico’s hope for a strong marijuana system.
The Cannabis Control Division (CCD) is still currently overseeing all licensing provisions for recreational dispensary requests. They are also the ones who have been keeping everyone up to date on the recreational use news. Currently, the advisory committee is still being selected, but once it is selected by September 1, 2021, the CCD will be accepting and processing license applications. Also, by January 1, 2022, the CCD will begin licensing cannabis training and education programs, server permits, and license applications for all license types. Finally, by April 1, 2022, the retail sale of commercial cannabis will begin.