New Mexico released the proposed rules for the legal production of recreational marijuana on May 25th, 2021
The proposed rules are based on the plant count on a 2019 report by the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH). A new study has been commissioned that will provide updated data to determine an appropriate plant count to ensure an adequate supply of medical cannabis. New Mexico has 112,283 medical marijuana patients.
New Mexico has 34 licensed nonprofit vertically integrated MMJ operators, with 123 dispensaries in operation statewide, according to the most recent state data.
The current proposed rules state that “dispensaries shall make a reasonable effort to sell 25% of their monthly cannabis sales to qualified medical marijuana patients or caregivers.” Regulators want the current proposed rules to require that 25% of medical marijuana and 10% of retail be set aside, as well as, reduced licensing fees on medical pot plants. The new legalization does waive taxes on sales of limited quantities of medical marijuana.
There are three types of cultivation licenses being proposed that will allow for 201 up to 4,500. The current plant limit for medical marijuana growers is 1,750.
An annual application process would allow licensees to increase their plant count in increments of 500. A per plant fee of $22 will be charged annually for more than 3,500 mature plants. A $18 per plant fee will be charged on smaller cultivations.
Growers will be required to submit documents verifying water rights and submit to background searches. No cultivation can take place within 300 feet of schools or day-care centers.
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 on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at 9 a.m. The public rule hearing will be held via video conference and telephone.
Los Angeles opened the application process for social equity applicants in September 2019. To date only three of the 200 eligible applicants have received approval from the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation; Artist Tree, Sunset Business Solutions, and CannaTrust Group. Artist Tree in Koreatown is the only one that has opened.
The Social Equity Program is a three-tiered program that groups applicants meeting certain criteria and processes their application in a priority schedule created by the City.
Tier 1 Social Equity Individual Applicants must be low-income, and have a prior California Cannabis Arrest or Conviction, or have a minimum cumulative residency of five years in a Disproportionately Impacted Area.
A Tier 2 Social Equity Individual Applicant must be Low Income and have a minimum cumulative residency of five years in a Disproportionately Impacted Area or the individual does not meet the Low Income requirement but has a minimum cumulative residency of ten years in a Disproportionately Impacted Area.
A Tier 3 Applicant is a person who applied for a non-retail cannabis license under another Section of the Code but does not meet the requirements of a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Social Equity Individual Applicant.
The local and state application process is complicated and requires the expertise of attorneys, cannabis consultants, security experts, architects, and other professionals.
Filing fees are around $600 and application fees can cost between $7,000 and $9,000.
The Department of Cannabis Regulation reports that only 46 applicants have uploaded the minimum number of documents required to apply for a cannabis license.
In early 2021, the Los Angeles County Bar Association partnered with the city to provide pro-bono legal assistance to the 200 retail applicants.
The Department of Cannabis Regulation established the Social Equity Entrepreneur Development (SEED) Grant Program. SEED will provide $6 million in financial assistance to the 200 social equity applicants. The first grants will be dispersed in a few months.
The Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation is now hosting webinars on their website. The webinars provide updates and help social equity stakeholders navigate the licensing process.