Does New Mexico allow medical marijuana?▼▲
Yes, in 2007 the New Mexico legislature passed Senate Bill 523, also known as the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, which allows the state to register qualified individuals to grow, possess, and use marijuana and marijuana-infused products in limited quantities.
In order to qualify for the program, a person must be diagnosed with a debilitating disease that significantly impacts the quality of life of the patient, or is a terminal disease. While originally accepting only seven approved conditions, New Mexico marijuana laws now recognize 21.
If you've ever wondered how to get a medical card in New Mexico
, check out our video.
Is weed legal in New Mexico?▼▲
With the March 2019 defeat of House Bill 356, recreational marijuana use is not permitted in the state of New Mexico. However, the close vote has prompted calls for a revisit during the 2020 legislative session, and a recent decriminalization bill has made possession of up to half an ounce of marijuana and all drug paraphernalia petty misdemeanors that carry small fines.
Where are the dispensaries located in New Mexico?▼▲
There are over 50 licensed dispensaries in the state of New Mexico across 18 cities. However, many dispensaries are concentrated in certain areas. Albuquerque, for example, boasts 22 dispensaries alone, which is almost half of the state's licensed dispensaries.
Due to New Mexico weed laws, only licensed producers may sell marijuana products to medical cardholders or their caregivers.
Are the New Mexico dispensaries recreational or medical?▼▲
According to New Mexico marijuana laws, all dispensaries in the state of New Mexico are medical marijuana dispensaries -- there are no legal recreational dispensaries.
In 2016, lawmakers in the state proposed three bills legalizing marijuana for adult use, but none were passed into law. Many believe the state is on the cusp of legalization and may join the growing number of recreational states by the year 2020.
Payment Methods Accepted at Dispensaries in New Mexico▼▲
As banks and other card processing companies are still regulated by federal banking laws that prohibit dealing with federally illegal businesses, most dispensaries in the state of New Mexico are cash-only. However, many dispensaries have an ATM or two on site and may be able to run a purchase as a debit/ATM transaction -- just make sure you watch those fees.
New Mexico Grow Limits▼▲
Medical marijuana cardholders or their designated caregivers may grow up to 16 plants, with no more than four flowering plants and 12 immature plants at any one time. Note that a Personal Production License grow permit must be obtained prior to any medical marijuana cultivation, a stipulation of New Mexico cannabis laws.
Recreational users and other non-patients, on the other hand, will face a felony offense and up to nine years in jail for the unlawful cultivation of marijuana.
New Mexico Purchasing Limits▼▲
According to marijuana laws in New Mexico, registered medical marijuana patients may possess as much as eight ounces of marijuana at any time.
In any 90-day period, however, a dispensary location can only sell a maximum of 230 "units" of marijuana, where a "unit" is defined as one gram of marijuana flower or 0.2 grams of marijuana concentrate, such as wax or shatter. This means that every three months, a medical marijuana dispensary may sell up to but no more than 230 grams (eight ounces) of marijuana flower or 46 grams (around 1.6 ounces) of marijuana concentrate.
Can you go into a dispensary when you're under 21 in New Mexico?▼▲
As recreational marijuana use is not yet legal in the state, you may not enter a dispensary unless you are a medical marijuana patient, caregiver, or an industry employee, regardless of your age.
How old do you have to be to purchase marijuana in New Mexico?▼▲
As a medical marijuana state, you may only purchase marijuana in New Mexico if you are a medical marijuana cardholder or caregiver. No other purchases are covered by New Mexico marijuana laws, and you may be subject to criminal charges if caught.
Do you need a medical card to buy from a dispensary in New Mexico?▼▲
Yes, you must be a medical marijuana cardholder or a designated caregiver to purchase marijuana from a dispensary in New Mexico.
Do you need a medical card to enter a dispensary in New Mexico?▼▲
Only medical marijuana cardholders, their caregivers, or store employees are allowed to enter a dispensary in New Mexico.
New Mexico Possession/Use Limits▼▲
New Mexico medical marijuana patients may possess up to 8oz of marijuana over a 90-day period.
As of May 2019, any non-medical marijuana patient caught in possession of marijuana in New Mexico without a valid medical marijuana card, or who is not a caregiver or industry employee, is subject to misdemeanor criminal charges, 15 days in jail, and a $100 fine if caught with less than one ounce. For possession of more than one ounce, penalties rise to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
New Mexico Consumption▼▲
Due to marijuana laws in New Mexico, private residences remain the safest place to use medical cannabis, but you are only protected if you are a medical marijuana patient -- recreational use is not allowed.
New Mexico's medical cannabis program has prohibited the use of marijuana consumption in the following places:
- In a public vehicle, such as a bus, but also including any vehicle on a public road
- On the property or grounds of any school
- At the cardholder or caregiver’s place of employment
- At a public park
- In a youth or recreation center
- On federal property, such as airports, border crossings, reservations or federal parks
- Any other public place
While public consumption is prohibited, cardholders and caregivers may possess marijuana and marijuana-infused products at all times.
New Mexico Cultivation▼▲
Most marijuana in the state is grown by licensed operations that have been approved by the Department of Health. Part of New Mexico medical marijuana laws, dispensaries must maintain non-profit status and a health board consisting of a doctor, nurse and physician.
While growing your own medical marijuana in New Mexico isn't common, it is possible. Patients and/or caregivers may apply for a Personal Production License (PPL) to grow for personal use. Once approved, medical marijuana patients and their caregivers can grow a combined 16 pants (4 mature and 12 seedlings).
Medical At-Home Cultivation in New Mexico▼▲
Medical marijuana cardholders or their designated caregiver may cultivate as many as sixteen plants under two conditions:
- The cardholder or caregiver has submitted a personal production application, paid the $30 fee, and has received his or her Personal Production License. Each license is valid for one year and must be renewed annually.
- Of the 16 total plants allowed, 12 must remain immature, or non-flowering, and only four plants may be producing flower at any one time.
Any person caught cultivating marijuana without a Personal Production License is subject to felony charges, including fines up to $10,000 and nine years in prison.
Recreational At-Home Cultivation in New Mexico▼▲
New Mexico weed laws prohibit the cultivation of marijuana unless authorized by the state as a licensed grower, medical marijuana patient, or caregiver. Recreational cultivation is expressly prohibited.
New Mexico Transport▼▲
Only individuals that are allowed to possess marijuana are legally allowed to transport it within the state. This includes medical marijuana cardholders, their caregivers, or an employee of a licensed marijuana business. All others will be breaking New Mexico marijuana laws, even if decriminalization has reduced the penalties of up to half an ounce to a misdemeanor and $50 fine.
Is marijuana delivery legal in New Mexico?▼▲
Yes, delivery services, also known as "couriers," may deliver medical cannabis to a registered cardholder or their caregiver under existing New Mexico cannabis laws.
Marijuana and Driving in New Mexico▼▲
Though New Mexico has reduced penalties for possession of marijuana in the state, driving while under the influence of marijuana remains a criminal offense in New Mexico and is punishable by up to a $500 fine, 90-days of imprisonment, and 24-hours of community service. Additionally, anyone caught driving under the influence may be subject to a license suspension and may have to participate in a driver rehabilitation program.
Licensed medical marijuana cardholders, caregivers, and production center employees may transport medical cannabis freely in the state but may not open packaging while driving on public roads.
Transporting marijuana across state lines, even to other legal states, is against New Mexico marijuana laws.
Notes on New Mexico Weed Laws▼▲
- New Mexico was the first U.S. state to recognize the medicinal value of marijuana with the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act in 1978.
- Medical marijuana patients in New Mexico must apply for and be granted a separate Personal Production License to grow marijuana for personal use. Each license is valid for one year and must be renewed yearly.
- All commercial grow operations in New Mexico must be not-for-profit, pass yearly reviews, and have a health board consisting of a doctor, nurse, and physician.