NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Cannabis Control Division (CCD) has finalized state-wide rules for New Mexico’s cannabis manufacturers, retailers, and couriers. The rules are effective immediately.
The rules come after several rounds of public comment from small business owners, CEOs of multi-outlet cannabis companies, and nearly everyone in-between. “Using best practices and input from stakeholders, the Cannabis Control Division has drawn on diverse experience and knowledge,” Kristen Thomson, the CCD director said in a press release.
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The rules establish what’s required to apply for licenses to manufacture cannabis products — including documents such as production premise diagrams and proof of water rights. It also establishes several types of cannabis manufacturers.
- Class I: packaging and re-packaging of already-made products
- Class II: manufacturing of edibles or topical products from already-extracted products; can also conduct Class I activities
- Class III: manufacturing of extracts (extracting) using mechanical methods and nonvolatile solvents; can also conduct Class I and Class II activities
- Class IV: manufacturing of extracts (extracting) using volatile solvents or supercritical CO2; can also conduct Class I, Class II, and Class III activities
The rules set details on what can and cannot be included in a cannabis product. Vitamin E acetate is not allowed in products meant to be inhaled. That additive was linked to vaping illnesses in 2019.
Manufacturers are also prohibited from adding nicotine or caffeine to cannabis products under the final rules. They can, however, create cannabis products in which sugar or caffeine already occur naturally, such as coffee, tea, or chocolate products.
The published rules set boundaries for cannabis couriers. The couriers, for example, are not allowed to drive vehicles with advertising or other markings on the side that would identify them as carrying cannabis, and couriers can only deliver shelf-stable cannabis products.
Some of the rules focus on security. The maximum retail value of products a courier can carry at any given time is $10,000, and couriers are not allowed to hold on to packages for delivery for more than 24 hours.
Delivery recipients will have their identity pre-verified electronically before a courier delivers cannabis. This is to ensure that the recipient is either over 21 years old or is an 18+ qualified medical cannabis patient or primary caregiver.
The rules also set requirements for cannabis retailers. They must provide employees with health and safety training within 30 days of hiring, for example. And employees who handle edible products must complete an American National Standards Institute food handler course.
Retail sales are set to begin, by April 1, 2022. Once they do, only customers age 21 and over (and people 18 and over who possess a valid qualified patient, primary caregiver, or reciprocal participant registry identification card) will be allowed to access retail areas.
The rules set strict quality-control standards for retail displays. Retailers can take cannabis out of the packaging to display for customers. But the displayed product cannot be sold or consumed — it must be destroyed. Retailers are also prohibited from providing free samples.