SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The state has released the proposed rules for cannabis producers in New Mexico. The proposed rules include requirements for obtaining a cannabis producer, cannabis producer microbusiness, or a medical cannabis producer license in addition to a three-tiered plant count framework and fee system.

The public is now being asked to comment on the proposed rules. Comments can be posted online or submitted directly to the agencies. The deadline to submit public comment is at the conclusion of the public rule hearing which will be held via video conference and telephone on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at 9 a.m.

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According to a press release, the Cannabis Control Division based its draft plant-count framework on a 2019 report that was commissioned by the New Mexico Department of Health. NMDOH has commissioned a new study that will be completed in the upcoming weeks and will provide new data to help determine appropriate plant count limitations while also ensuring an adequate medical cannabis supply.

Under the new rules, dispensaries shall make a reasonable effort to sell 25% of their monthly cannabis sales to qualified medical marijuana patients or caregivers, so there won’t be a medical shortage. Producer licenses will be issued in one of three levels ranging from 201 plants, all the way up to 4,500 plants. License holders can apply to increase their plant amount by increments of 500 when applying for a renewed license and one other time a year.

There are also a wide range of fees that apply to license holders which are dependent on the amount of the locations and amount of plants. The new rules state all dispensaries must be at least 300 feet away from a school or daycare and must comply with all local zoning and safety laws.

The CCD aims to meet its deadline to begin processing cannabis producer licenses no later than September 1, 2021. Agencies will use new data as well as public comment to shape the plant count framework in their next draft which is expected in early June. The CCD prepares for adult-use cannabis sales to start no later than April 1, 2022.