New Mexico Cannabis Consultant Overview:

How To Open A Marijuana Business in New Mexico

Are you interested in starting a cannabis business in New Mexico? The cannabis consultants at New Leaf can help you navigate the process!

This summary of New Mexico requirements and license application process outlines what it takes to win a marijuana business license. Get started today to meet the demands of consumers! Schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable cannabis consultants in New Mexico.

New Mexico Cannabis Consulting & License Application Writing Experts

New Leaf Cannabis Consulting is the #1 Top Rated Cannabis Application Writing, Consulting, and Capital Fundraising one-stop-shop in the U.S. We offer a complete range of services from business model formation and planning, to state licensure, to raising capital and finding investors for the business.

New Leaf has worked with over 180 clients in over 16 different states since we opened our doors in 2015. Our success rate is well over 95% across the board. We offer more services than any of our competition.

If you need cash for your cannabis startup, and/or state and municipal license approval for a completely reasonable price, look no further than New Leaf Cannabis Consulting.

Cannabis Market Condition Overview

Business Climate and Timeline

  • December 2021 — The New Mexico Cannabis Control Division (CCD) announced that the final rules for cannabis producers, manufacturers, retailers, and couriers were in effect and began accepting license applications for all cannabis business types, including cultivation, manufacturing, and retail. The state is currently not setting a limit on the number of recreational cannabis licenses that can be approved, however some municipalities have established limitations on the number and types of licenses.
  • June 2021 — The Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA) went into effect on June 29, 2021, making adult-use cannabis legal in New Mexico. The CRA has since created a comprehensive licensing, taxing, and regulatory enforcement structure for adult-use cannabis.
  • March 2021 — New Mexico legislature approved House Bill 2, the Cannabis Regulation Act. This Act legalizes and regulates adult-use cannabis for adults 21 and older.
  • April 2022 — Cannabis became legal for medical and adult-use in New Mexico, recreational sales began 4-1-22.
  • January 2022 — New Mexico cannabis producers were permitted to cultivate double the number of plants they were previously allowed to grow after the CCD filed an emergency rule to lift the limitation.
  • March 2022 — To date the CCD has issued 73 cannabis producer licenses, 10 cannabis manufacturer licenses and 63 cannabis retail licenses.
  • During the first day of adult-use sales, the state reported $1.9 million dollars in sales.

Real Estate & Zoning

In most states, you will need to lock down the location for business operations in the form of either a lease, lease with option to purchase, or a purchase agreement.

Most importantly, during the real estate acquisition process, your company MUST make sure that the actual location COMPLETELY adheres to state and municipal regulations regarding distance restrictions from other businesses such as a daycare or school. An example of this would be Dispensary/Retail. Most times you will not be able to locate your dispensary in a section of the city which is not zoned specifically for retail. Your dispensary location cannot be located anywhere else. Check with the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department for locality resolutions and ordinances.

Usually the next step is Municipal/City/Township Approval. Nine times out of ten, these steps will need to take place before the full license application can be completed and submitted.

Laws and Regulations

As you get started, read up on New Mexico’s laws, rules, and regulations. The New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department’s Cannabis Control Division (CCD) regulates and licenses cannabis producers, manufacturers, retailers, couriers and testing and research laboratories operating in the medical and adult-use markets. To ensure public health and safety, the division establishes policy and rules pertaining to licensing, promoting social equity, compliance and enforcement.

Licensing. The CCD issues licenses to cannabis producers, microbusiness producers, integrated microbusinesses, manufacturers, retailers, consumption areas, vertically integrated establishments, couriers, and testing and research laboratories.

Compliance. To ensure compliance, The CCD monitors cannabis activities by conducting site inspections, working with local governments, and responding to consumer complaints. Compliance officers are trained on requirements for cannabis establishments, laws and regulations pertaining to display, packaging and labeling, advertising and marketing, recording sales, fire safety, security, and occupational health and safety standards.

The current law states that an individual must be 21 years of age or older to legally purchase recreational cannabis in New Mexico. Each person is allowed to purchase up to two ounces of cannabis, 16 grams of cannabis extract, and eight hundred milligrams of edible cannabis at one time. A person cannot possess more than those same amounts outside their residence. Anyone 21 or older can cultivate six mature plants and six seedlings, with a maximum of 12 mature plants per household.

Medical Marijuana in New Mexico — Twenty-eight medical conditions qualify patients to register for the use of medical cannabis in New Mexico. Patients are allowed to purchase from a licensed dispensary and possess up to 15 ounces over a rolling three-month period, with the possibility of a higher limit with a letter of special need from a certifying physician. Patients are also permitted to grow up to four mature plants and possess 12 immature plants. On February 22, 2022 amendments to New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) went into effect, which included an increase of adequate supply for medical patients to 15 ounces of dried flower, streamlining the patient application process by removing the requirement to submit a separate unit increase letter, and streamlined the Caregiver application with the removal of the background check to be more in-line with the Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA). The Medical Cannabis Program patient registry will continue to be maintained by the Department of Health.

Need assistance getting a New Mexico cannabis business license?  Schedule a Free Consultation

New Mexico Cannabis License Types

Currently there are 10 different types of cannabis business licenses in New Mexico:

  • Cultivators/Producers
  • Manufacturers
  • Retailers
  • Couriers
  • Producer Microbusinesses
  • Cannabis Consumption Areas
  • Vertically Integrated Establishments
  • Integrated Micro Businesses
  • Cannabis Testing Laboratory
  • Cannabis Research Laboratory

New Mexico Cannabis License Process and Scoring Criteria

New Mexico Cannabis License Requirements

Cannabis licenses are awarded by having a complete and well written application and all required supplemental documentation as well as city approval. An applicant’s criminal history also comes into play as well as past taxes of the owner/directors of the company. And of course, sometimes there is a required proof of capitalization — i.e. proving that you will have enough money in the bank to build out and run your business.

In highly competitive states such as Illinois or New York, there is a scoring process for an extremely limited number of available licenses. Licenses will be awarded to only the best of the best submissions. It is highly suggested that you hire an agency that can provide you with an “above and beyond” application submission.

Eligibility for a Cannabis License in New Mexico

To apply for a marijuana license in New Mexico, applicants must meet several qualifications and eligibility requirements necessary to receive a license. Each applicant must be 21 years of age or older and is required to undergo a criminal background check.

Application Requirements for Marijuana Licenses in New Mexico

To apply for a cannabis business license, you must show compliance with New Mexico laws and local ordinances. To illustrate your commitment to the process, hundreds of pages of technical writing may be necessary.

Some of the necessary documentation includes the following:

  • License Application (Required Measures and/or Exhibits). A well written application will need to be written in lockstep with the State Regulations for each Exhibit/measure.
  • Business Plan. Including executive summary, mission statement, market analysis, 5 to 7 year business life-cycle timeline with expansion events. Products and services, management and staff, SWOT analysis, quality assurance and compliance.
  • Financials. Full 5 to 7 year financial projections, income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows.
  • Operations Manuals, Exhibits and SOP’s such as:
    • Inventory and Recordkeeping/Diversion
    • Quality Assurance Manuals
    • Operations Manuals/Procedures for cultivation, processing, dispensary, lab testing, transportation
    • Transportation and Distribution Plan
    • Employee, Staffing and Training Manuals
    • Social and Economic Impact/equity plans/community outreach plan
    • Environmental Plans with water and electrical usage plan/manual
    • Chemical and Pesticide Storage Plans
    • Waste Disposal Procedures
    • Accounting and Tax Compliance
    • Hemp Research Plan
    • Sanitation and Maintenance Plans
    • Odor Control Plan
    • Patient/Customer Education Manuals (mainly for dispensary/retail)
  • Labor/Union Compliance Agreements
  • Training Manuals. New Leaf will design manuals to your specifications, along with state regulations, for all cannabis business models
  • Regulatory Compliance Manuals. These explain all the different regulatory compliance regulations, such as quality assurance, product recall, packaging and labeling, advertising, hours of operation, patient and/or customer purchase limits, staffing and training, inventory and record keeping, security, tax payment and insurance compliance.
  • Security Plan. Video Surveillance, Alarm System, Emergency Procedures.
  • Floor Plans, Blueprints. To-Scale, with Security Overlays. Floor plans of the entire facility.
  • Corporate Structuring. Social Equity Certification and Registration, LLC and Corporation Registration and FEIN filing, Operating Agreements, Capitalization Tables, Shareholder Rights and Regulations Consultation, Corporate Bylaw Strategy.

Post Licensure Support. New Leaf serves as a liaison between you, your company, and the State Licensing Commission to help you get through the application evaluation. The State, no matter how good your application is, most definitely will have follow up questions and requests for additional documentation and/or information.

Denial Appeal. Denial appeal is also part of the Post Licensure Support.

Financial Requirements — How much does it cost to get a cannabis license in New Mexico?

Many states will require what is known as a Capitalization Attestation. What is this, you may ask? A capitalization attestation is usually done by a CPA. It involves submitting your profit and loss statements, bank account information, proof of funds, and an assumption of the costs for startup CapEx and OpEx.

Need Cash for your Cannabis Startup? New Leaf offers a full suite of Investment Capital Fundraising Services including corporate structuring and partnership agreements, 409 (B) company valuations, 5-7 year pro forma financial projections, and more! New Leaf will act on your behalf in actually SHOPPING the deal to our syndicate of accredited investors from across the globe. We can help you successfully raise the capital needed to get your project off the ground. Find out more here.

Application Fees and Annual License Fees

Cultivators/Producers — $2,500/year and up
Manufacturers — $2500/year and up
Retailers — $2500/year and up
Producer Microbusinesses — $500 and up
Couriers — $1,500/year and $1,000 for each additional licensed premises
Integrated Micro Businesses — $1000–$2500 annually
Cannabis Consumption Areas — Up to $2500/year
Vertically Integrated Establishments — $7500 and up
Cannabis Testing Laboratory — $2500/year
Cannabis Research Laboratory — $1000–$2500 annually

NOTE: Fees are reduced by half for medical only licensees. 

How to Win a New Mexico Cannabis Business License

A step-by-step guide on how to apply for and WIN a cannabis license in New Mexico.

  1. Review the state laws, rules & regulations. Learn about the rules and regulations necessary to operate a cannabis business in the state of New Mexico. This will help you and your team understand the requirements to win a cannabis license.
  2. Choose a New Mexico cannabis business license type. New Mexico issues 10 different types of cannabis business licenses.
  3. Connect with a New Mexico cannabis consulting firm. Consider reaching out to a New Mexico cannabis consultant. Cannabis business license applications can be extremely complex and time-consuming to write. The professional New Mexico marijuana consultants at New Leaf can manage the entire process for you. We can assist you with license application writing services, increasing your chance of winning a cannabis license in New Mexico. Book a free consultation today!
  4. Form a business entity. Forming a legal business entity is the next step in the process of applying for a cannabis license in New Mexico. LLCs and corporations are the two types most commonly formed by cannabis applicants. Find out which is the best choice for your business goals — we can help.
  5. Select a location for your cannabis business in New Mexico. Choosing a property for your cannabis business that meets all the state and local requirements can be complicated as well. Our experience with zoning processes that can help you find the ideal property for your marijuana business.
  6. Build the best team. The team that you list on your application will have a major impact on whether or not you receive a license.
  7. Write a business plan. After securing a location for your cannabis business, the next step is to develop a carefully detailed business plan. Your business plan will help lay out your goals and track progress as your business begins to grow. Business plans can also help attract investors. Investors use them to determine if a business is on the right path and worth putting money into.
  8. Raise capital for your New Mexico cannabis business. Although start-up costs for a cannabis business can be significant, careful planning and the right team can make it a huge success. New Leaf can help you craft a detailed plan and get it into the hands of investors.
  9. Write and submit your New Mexico cannabis business application. Depending on type of license, applicants may need to write and submit the following documentation:
  • Business Plan and Financials
  • Corporate Structuring
  • Safety and Security Plan
  • Location Information
  • Waste Disposal Procedures
  • Transportation and Distribution Plans
  • Employee, Staffing and Training Manuals
  • Regulatory and Compliance Plans
  • Quality Assurance and Control Plans
  • and much more!