Adult Use Cannabis Producer Licensing Requirements

Adult-Use Cannabis Producer Licensing Requirements

The purpose of this rule hearing is to consider proposed draft rules regarding the processing, approval, and denial of license applications for cannabis producers in New Mexico. The rule hearing will also consider the regulation of cannabis licensees, proposed fees for corresponding license types, the plant count, canopy or square footage limit for each license type, and per-plant fees applied to licensees that are growing more than 200 cannabis plants.

Click here to view the proposed draft rules:

Click here to view the notice of proposed rule making:

Click here to view the reference materials used in drafting the proposed rule making:

A public rule hearing will be held via an Internet-based video conference and via telephone on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 starting at 9:00 a.m.

Check back here on June 29, 2021 for the link to participate in the hearing.

We are now accepting public comments on the proposed draft rules. There are four ways to provide public comment on the proposed draft rules:

  • Use the text box below to enter your public comment
  • Email your public comment to ccd.publiccomment@state.nm.us
  • Submit your public comment via postal mail to:Public Comment
    c/o Robert Sachs
    P.O. Box 25101
    Santa Fe, NM 87504
  • Participate in the June 29, 2021 public hearing and present your public comment via video conference or via telephone

The deadline to submit public comment is at the conclusion of the public hearing on June 29, 2021.

Please know that all public comments will be posted on this website.

Any individual with a disability who is in need of a reader, amplifier, qualified sign language interpreter, or other form of auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in the hearing should contact Nicole Bazzano, Executive Assistant for the Office of the Superintendent, rld.cannabiscontrol@state.nm.us or (505) 469-0982 at least seven days prior to the hearing.

To submit public comment, please enter your first name, last name and your email address along with your public comment. Required fields are marked *

You can enter your public comment in the box below or upload your public comment as an attachment. All public comments will be posted on this website. Your name will be included with your comment but your email address will not be published.

59 Comments

  1. Wow I know we don’t have the most educated state but it clearly reads these rules are for people growing more the 200 plants. Micro producer rules are not posted. Most these comments are for micro producer.

  2. If this law was meant to bolster our local, failing economy, then why aren’t the rules being drafted to prioritize local New Mexicans and their start-up ventures? Too easy for an MSO to come here, set up shop then carry all their profits away from New Mexico. This already happens in the Medical Program and it DOES NOT help New Mexico other than by workers taking home simple paychecks. We deserve a proper market share of our own program! Thank you.

  3. You guys are really hurting the locals here. I just saw on the news an arizona company has dumped 20 million dollars on opening several locations throughout our state. Not forcing business owners to have manditory residency is going to mess this up real bad. This thing will only work if it is the locals who are in charge and growing the industry here. If you dumb jerks think the people of New Mexico are going to just throw their hard earned money at out of state based, super-rich, completely commercial a holes, you are dead wrong, and the whole thing will fail to make money for the state outside of tourists. New Mexicans aren’t suckers, and won’t buy into that bull. Be warned: the people here will happily support and help each other to grow and profit, but if you only care about a select few, and choose to make this more about big business, (out of state business at that), and screw the locals over, you will lose big. I’m telling you right now, if you want a weed war, you’ll get one.

  4. Why are the micro growers license requirements the same as the commercial requirements? I can understand the security requirements being the same because 1 plant can do just as much damage as 2000 plants could if a young child were to get into them or a teenager. But, the cultivation plans, harvesting plans, water sources needing to be state inspected etc all being exactly the same for micro vs commerical defeats the purpose of a micro grower.

    My understanding was that New Mexico wants micro growers license accessible to everyone but the requirements set forth have dissuaded alot of people. The only difference in the license for a commercial grower and a micro grower is the number of plants you can have and the cost. The cost really isn’t all that different between the license, at least not enough to make a huge impact in start up costs.

    Being a native New Mexican, I can attest the the fact that ALOT of people have gardens, most of them have at LEAST 50 plants. 200 cannabis plants is not a significant undertaking for many people. It is definitely not enough to require a cultivation plan, harvesting plan and state inspected water source. I have a private well that was inspected when I bought my house 2 months ago so having to have it re-inspected seems like a waste of my time and money as well as the states. Not to mention the fact that it could further delay the licensing process if the inspectors are backed up for a few months due to the increase in inspections required.

    I am a medical patient and we are already experiencing a shortage of supply. Once recreational use is open for sale, I foresee a SIGNIFICANT shortage. Especially considering the very low percentage of cannabis reserved for medical. I personally want to open a micro farm strictly for medical use. Luckily I am able to meet the requirements set forth, but many New Mexicans will not be able to. The blatant lack of regard for the licensing process for micro growers is very discouraging and will end up hurting medical uses like myself when the supply shortage hits….. because we won’t have enough micro growers meeting your requirements.

  5. For some reason my previous comment is not showing up in this thread. My previous comment pertained to possibly giving strong consideration to Active-Duty military spouses for licenses. I am currently an Active-Duty Army Officer. I have served in New Mexico (NM) for a total of six years out of the 20 + years I have been on Active Duty. I have deployed from New Mexico to Afghanistan and I am currently stationed in NM. My wife and I are NM residents and she has a strong interest in applying for a vertically integrated license. I would ask that the division give strong consideration for veterans and military spouses. Also, the section: APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR CANNABIS PRODUCER LICENSE questions 17-23 state certified to adhere to this or certified to adhere to that. Who is the person/organization that provides the certification for questions 17-23. Lastly, if we apply for a license and are denied, will we receive the application fee back? Thanks!

  6. Why can’t microproducers grow in a seperate location from their sales location without having to pay for another license? I don’t know if there are going to be many places that have space for a grow room, processing room, storage room, and sales room all available in a single location. 200 plants with grow lights and watering systems take up a fair amount of space, and micro producers won’t be able to compete if they have to grow less than that.

  7. There are a lot of very specific rules here, but not a lot specifications. If you are going to force people to jump through all these hoops, then you need to be crystal clear on what exactly is needed to get a business up and running. For example, you say micro producers need specific lighting and security. You need to provide links or have a list on what is acceptable. Same thing with the building requirements. If producers need to have multiple rooms for growing, selling, whatever, and producers need to meet specific water-usage and quality requirements before any approval for a license can be granted, you need to have the specifications perfectly layed out for everyone. You need to make it easier for people to get the information, so they know what they have will work and can feel safe about applying for a license. Nobody wants to apply and pay the fee, just to have it fail inspection. Nobody wants to buy a property, and find out it is not allowed. Either make a page that has all the specific crap you are making people buy listed, or rewrite this pitiful bill so that people don’t have to break the bank guessing and hoping they got the right thing, just to find out they don’t.

  8. Hello, I am a 20+ year year Active Duty Army Officer. I am currently still serving on Active Duty. I have served in New Mexico twice while on active duty and I have previously deployed from New Mexico to Afghanistan. I am currently stationed in New Mexico and will be deploying again in service to our Nation and to New Mexico. I strongly assume I am not eligible to apply for a vertically integrated license given that I am still on Active Duty. Therefore, my wife (who is also a New Mexico resident and who is a minority) will be the primary applicant. I am hopeful that the application will give a military spouse preference since I will not be able to take advantage of the veteran preference. Thanks!

  9. Just want to mention that as the state is preparing the regulations, let’s not forget that our local municipalities – cities and counties – need to establish the “green zones”. We can not start setting up now a cannabis business without knowing if the location will be in an approved location. Local governments need to start catching up to the state. Otherwise anybody setting up a business right now will be sort of gambling. I totally support the public commenting and hope that the authorities listen to what it is being said by the people.

  10. Hello,
    I wanted to share this comment because of my experience as a Grower/processor. I am not currently employed by a cannabis company and don’t receive compensation or editorial oversight in posting this comment.

    First, I wanted to bring attention to the term Pesticide

    The Term “Pesticide” means a pesticide as defined by the New Mexico Pesticide Control Act,Section 76-4-1 et seq., NMSA 1978. – and to the pertaining clause 76-4-28 Farmer Rancher Exception

    I assert that the Pesticide definition is incomplete, as it regards to inhaled cannabis product. We know that the micro presence of substances can have an exaggerated effect on health when its an “inhaled product”. I ask that the proposed cannabis rules include a firmer stance on what is suitable for pesticide use. I included the Farmer Rancher Exception because that would be the most common use of pesticides.

    –Pesticides in growing cannabis– Most growers don’t use pesticides during flowering, that is what we should expect, however some do. And because of the general lack of oversight and the “you’ll be fired if you speak because we can hire anyone anytime”, pesticides get used in inappropriate ways. Pesticides affect the product immensely and I ask you take this seriously because it affects the health and long term well-being of New Mexico residents. How could we negate the prevalence of pesticides in the products? Its almost impossible, I witnessed products being taken off premises and being brought back for problem plants, or greenhouses. I have witnessed the use of random products purchased online and witnessed the destruction of the containers. I witnessed this at an “Organic” 503(c) DOH authorized grow operation.

    16.8.2.15 sec (7) Water
    — Plant counts are arbitrary like most of the producers currently say, and admittedly that’s not the best way to impose limits. We live in a state that provides a significant business advantage compared to other states, and that is our sunlight. Being around 34.5199° N equates to the primordial habitat which Cannabis grows naturally. We need to defend the fact that our sun, saves costs for the producers, creates better quality plants than grow lights do, and has a better flavor and terpine profile because of the UV light.

    I wanted to outline our strength with the sun, but our major weakness is water. What are the proposed rules for when we have to ration water and pay cannabis producers not to grow? What we do by not addressing water in these rules, creates a ecological problem down the road.

    Producers currently can use the amount of water they have the right to use. And that isn’t fair nor is it a smart decision for a drought plagued state with money hungry producers itching to step up production. This issue requires more attention especially for the other farmers in the state, Should everyone start growing cannabis? I ask that the legislation include a clause citing the risk of drought, and defending the right of the state to limit water resources to even medical producers(if you don’t understand by now you may use Cannabis as a medicine but a business sells cannabis to make money).

    16.8.2.20 CANNABIS PRODUCER POLICIES AND PROCEDURES:
    — I request an addition to this section, to include forklifts. Forklifts are a regular tool in the industry, a soil bag can weigh 2 tons. So often the business will rent a Forklift, maybe a bulldozer with a forklift attachment. Either way most employees of cannabis companies use cannabis while they are at work. I have witnessed employees, use cannabis and drive a forklift in a reckless way. I have witnessed the mistakes, and I brought the occurrences to the attention of the management. We need to requirea specific form stating that on this day the use of the forklift was done by “X” and that “X” affirms that they are not under the influence of any substances. Currently, employees have no recourse to say a business acted in an unsafe way. Employee protections are very important, if you didn’t know, accidents at cannabis production sites are far to common, and often un-reported.

    16.8.2.23 Sec 2 complaints
    — This section regards the consumers ability to complain about a cannabis product that they have purchased. I ask that we require the complaint info to be put on all cannabis stickers, phone number for a person to report to at DOH, website, and applicable plant numbers. I understand a complaint system exists, I used the system and it didn’t provide any meaningful conclusions, I suggest we may need to strengthen enforcement capabilities.

    16.8.11.11 addressing plant shortages
    Please include a clause in this section also about water resources and what the plan would be to address a cannabis supply shortage and a water shortage. It sounds like the plan is let cannabis producers do whatever is necessary to rectify the shortage. When producers are under pressure to produce cannabis they often use pesticides, growth hormones and/or subject employees to unannounced overtime. The idea that a medical supply is short is worrying, yet we have other means of securing product for medical patients that we may not be taking advantage of. I suggest something more specific than the suggested 25% reserve for medical supply. It should not the states job to ensure that we have access to cannabis constantly, business’ have options for controlling their products, example free market economics.

    7.34.4.8 PRODUCER LICENSING; GENERAL PROVISIONS
    I wanted to comment about this phrase in the provisions.
    “A licensed non-profit producer may sell and distribute usable cannabis to a person or entity authorized to possess and receive it.”

    The problem word is distribute, this allows managers of companies to distribute cannabis to their friends, or to employees as a bonus, and I witnessed distributing cannabis as a sexual favor. I don’t think this was meant to be used as a means for businesses to deliver incentive, and when it is used in that way, it creates a hostile work environment. We should take into account the history of cannabis’ use as a drug when we create our system in this state.

    Cannabis was used by slave owners to pacify slaves, If you haven’t used cannabis before then I should tell you that the pacification qualities exist. And this is no joke, employers in the state are not the worst on earth, BUT we cannot allow even one cannabis producer to exist in a way where cannabis is exchanged based on managerial whim.

    To close this loophole I request the revision of the sentence to
    “A licensed producer may sell usable cannabis to a person or entity authorized to possess and receive it.”

    That way a business could still sell the product that no one else wanted to buy ex. cannabis that is not high enough in THC is often discarded or not sold. However it contains more CBD and is valuable to people who understand the difference and business should still be able to “micro sell”

    7.34.4.24 DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS AND APPEAL PROCESS:
    1) Major violations affecting public safety a) intentional diversion of cannabis or a cannabis-derived product to the illicit market, as determined by the department;

    This section needs rebuffing, I spoke to Linda Trujillo about a problem I noticed while working at a cannabis production facility. The producer was sending plants, soil, and tools to persons that operated an illicit grow operation and both the manager and the company benefited from the illicit operation. Linda said that the ability of the state to determine if the business gave cannabis or cannabis related product was so poor, that even with evidence there was no way to issue disciplinary actions.

    In growing, we refer to quality plants as production plants, we have certain strains that do better than others and those strains sell for more money because of flavor or ect. Expect that unless we catalog the strains a business operates with we will never be able to stop the forfeiture of products to the illicit market. And as Linda said, we cannot say these plants were from a licensed grow operation if we don’t know when the licensed operation grows.

    As it stands law enforcement isn’t very interested in stopping this kind of activity, but we can change that, investment in Cannabis enforcement officers and scientists to test market samples and illicit samples. Would provide a framework in which we could relieve pressure on police forces, follow up on complaints, and ensure that our efforts are not spoiled by bad actors sending cannabis to Michigan. True story.

    Next under disciplinary actions
    “f) using unauthorized chemicals, pesticides, fungicides, rodenticides, or other substances that may have an adverse effect on the health of consumers or workers. ”
    The state should attempt to understand the normal products used in cannabis production, and should require that business conduct safety training, currently business’ do not provide a thorough training. Why worry about one worker, when people all over the state are clamoring for jobs in this industry? The current answer is that they do not worry about the environment of one worker, and that worker cannot rely on the state for help, because they don’t have the understanding to help or the capacity.

    Consumer is quite the open term, and I understand it to mean anyone who consumes anything that is affected by the defined substances.
    An open question I would ask regarding this section is.
    Based on the prevalent use of liquid feeding and purchases of soil which contain polymer coating, leading to dumping of spent soil and finally leading to dissolution into our ground water; Do we have any care to regulate the use of toxic fertilizers?

    Elements used by plants are naturally occurring, however some farmers don’t know how to naturally create these elements so they purchase them. The purchase creates ecological catastrophes such as the toxic waste water left in storage ponds in Florida. We should preempt these costly and foolish mistakes with our legislation and impose upon business’ wishing to receive license a Toxic/chemical substance action plan. Initiated by the business and submitted to the department for review, cataloging used products, training in hazardous procedures, action plan for spills, reporting requirements and criteria for managing spills, and we need to fund the position of an ecologist to test soil samples, and perhaps test nearby waterways for contamination.

    Next
    g) misrepresenting quality testing results, potency or contents of useable cannabis or cannabis-derived products to a qualified patient) providing adulterated useable cannabis or cannabis-derived products to a qualified patient

    I doubt a single business DOESNT alter their samples for their own purposes. I’ll explain what I was and was a part of, we take about 3.5g of a cannabis product patch to get tested for potency and blah blah, potency is all that matters. So we pick and choose, rename/combine plants, and even brush particles (of pesticides or liquid fertilizer that ended up on the flower) off the plants. This is not how the state expected the testing to work I suppose, but there is almost no way to stop the manipulation of the cannabis product when the state only requires the testing of the potency. So you end up testing the most potent that we have, then we get the 24% we want and then we sell it under that name and tagging 24% even though, we know 5 of the plants suffered from pests and over fertilizing and ended up “burned”.

    My request is to be more proactive about this kind of thing and we can be proactive in lots of different ways. A business could be proactive by testing in the field or by recording the additives in a detailed fashion to be reviewed. Or the state could require that pictures of the inventory be collected, this would show clear differences in plant type, and condition of the plants which could also be reviewed.

    Inventory management isn’t enough and our system bio track is not enough to protect consumers from misrepresentations.

    Those are all the specific comments regarding the sections presented that I have, I hope that this comment is as concise as is fashionable and that we can benefit from communicating about this topic.

    P.S All cannabis companies are owned by people out of state or out of country, if we wanted locals to be included we would need to require bank records which isn’t hard.

  11. Come on new mexico, we have a chance at something amazing here.
    I was beyond excited at the possibility of pursuing a micro producers license.
    The fact is, that beyond the initial yearly licensing costs and additional per plant fees, the capitol/investment needed to start up a micro production facility isn’t all that different from setting up the larger tiered facilities.

    How are these licenses going to be affordable/accessible for every day working new mexicans/business owners?
    Like another person commented, there are many medical patients who want to pursue a micro license so that they can breed and grow enough different varieties of cannabis to actually find the ones that help their individualized needs. Especially with the total plant count being lowered, its a major slap in the face to patients who have genetics that they have painstakingly acquired through making connections with other patients and or hunting down over the years.
    Gearing these micro producers licenses in such a way as to allow people/patients to attempt to turn a hobby that they are passionate about into a business and a means of support for their family and community is crucial.
    If its all profit driven, heavily regulated and geared towards corporations and larger scale operations the patients and public will suffer.
    The micro producers will never be able to compete with the big guys when it comes down to numbers but the personalized attention quality and care for the product can’t be matched.

    Does there really need to be so much regulation and red tape to grow a few plants.

    I could see many people willing to invest 50k into a micro license but to have to do all that before even being able to submit an application? With aspects of zoning etc changing all the time.

    A public Informational event should be organized after all the public comments are gathered so that people interested in pursuing the various licenses can make more educated decisions as to what they are getting into as well as hopefully be able to make connections with approved contractors, security service purveyors and maybe even other potential business partners.

  12. Will these licenses to do business be issued to NM residents only?

    How current does the Criminal screening requirements have to be?

  13. 18-21 should be allowed to participate in medical cannabis activity and be eligible to be licensed as a medical micro producer/vertically integrated micro business/medical retail license. HB 2 creates clear distinctions several times between medical and commercial cannabis activity. Especially as medical patients we should have some control over our medical productions to ensure security and comfort in what we consume. At 19 I can already decide to work in gun sales, enlist in the military, sell alcohol in restaurants, work in tobacco sales, work in a pharmacy distributing controlled substances, and work as a caregiver or in a vet clinic possibly distributing controlled substances. Would the state rather I sell drugs and guns instead of help ensure New Mexicos medical cannabis patients receive high quality affordable medicine and ensure a future for myself and my family.

  14. We are hoping to own a small vertically integrated cannabis business in Southern New Mexico and are concerned about how water rights may be used to exclude smaller producers like us. We hope that the rules might include something about how rules governing the use of water rights for cannabis cultivation cannot be significantly different from those used for the leasing of water rights for other cash crops.

    We have access to leased agricultural water rights but will not own those rights and we are concerned that monied interests may seek to make production licensing contingent upon agricultural water rights ownership in order to push smaller competitors, like us, out of the market. We hope the CCD will continue to ensure the viability of small, local producers in their consideration of these rules.

  15. So wait, there’s not only going to be zoning limitations where an opperation can be– no school zones, maybe no business near certain retail stores or downtown areas, maybe no business in residential areas, etc. etc…. but I’m also pretty sure there was talk of there being a minimum of 2 miles between dispos… you throw in the specific requirements for building/structure type, and that makes finding a location to set up shop very, VERY limited– near impossible. Now we find out that the medical folks are already in the process of expanding throughout the state, most already having over 5 locations and just continuing to grow. How’s anyone new supposed to get started? The big problem with the current medical people being allowed to have unlimited locations, is that it literally takes away the ability for an average local to even try……. many of these guys expanding are not only taking the limited areas from people in their own city, (mainly ABQ,) but also moving to other cities and taking the limited slots from the locals there. In small towns, there will only be a few dispos allowed due to all this zoning stuff…. and with this extreme favor being handed to the already over inflated medical guys, who already have money and who already have resources and connections to just keep building and building, while the little guy has to struggle just to get a foot in the door, there’s a good chance there will be no microbusinesses at all in some towns. There’s a good chance the people running the shops won’t even be from the city where it is located…. Yeah, that’s really helping the locals. 😒😡

  16. Can a micro producer apply for a license before building out a grow area? Micro producers may not have the extra capital to lose if the license is not approved but the grow area is already built. I hope you all make the right decision in making the license for being micro producer obtainable for the average person

  17. This whole thing is a bunch of B.S.! You guys are flat out lying when you say this will help the disadvantaged. New businesses have to meet so many requirements, that costs alot of money, meanwhile the already established dispensaries can just keep expanding, which is pretty easy for them seeing as they already have the experience and money to do so. This “Everest” place is opening their 8TH!!!! dispensary! There should be a limit to 3 locations per person, that way lots of people get a fair chance, and no one can have a monopoly on the state.

    This whole thing is only for those who are already here.
    Microbusinesses are not going to ever even get an opportunity, and the authors of this bill clearly have no care for the underdogs.

    EVERYONE GROW YOUR OWN!

  18. The proposed rules pertaining to licensing, inspection and certification of premises assume that producers already have a facility. These need to change to grant a provisional license to grow, and the certifications and inspection should be in place before any cannabis products can be sold. This would allow start up companies to have the security of being licensed prior to investment in design, build out and equipment. We would also like to see a New Mexico residency requirement of at least 2- 5 years for all owners and investors. This legislative action is supposed to help the residents of new Mexico, not big money investors from other states. The current proposed rules are heavily weighted towards big money and current medical producers.

  19. Too much regulation and too much oversight will kill this program before it starts.
    State will prosper,
    The businesses will prosper ,
    Only when those cash registers ring.
    Do not block out the small and more talented growers .
    You will lose a lot of tax dollars if you do.
    Big business needs to stay out of recreational cannabis.
    They have the medical sewn up and look at that mess.
    Just my opinion.
    Pay attention to these comments because many are spot on!
    Have a nice day.

    fyi I haven’t used my email in years

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