New Mexicans ages 21 and older will be able to begin making retail purchases of cannabis and cannabis-infused products on April 1, according to an update issued by state regulators.
State lawmakers last year passed House Bill 2: The Cannabis Regulation Act, which immediately allowed for adults to possess and home-cultivate marijuana, and which also established a framework and timeline for the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis products. Under the law, adults may legally purchase up to two ounces of marijuana and/or up to 16 grams of cannabis extract from licensed retailers. Retailers are anticipated to be operational on April 1.
According to Victor Reyes, Deputy Director of the state’s Cannabis Control Division, the agency has already issued nearly 100 licenses for cannabis producers, manufactures and retailers. “The fact that we were able to get up off the ground and running in such a quick time. I mean, think about it less than a year,” he said. “That is one of the most aggressive launches that we’ve seen, that I think any state has seen.”
The progress is in contrast to the delayed roll-outs that several other states are currently experiencing. For example, adult-use sales in New York are not expected to begin until 2023. In Virginia, the timeline for the launch of retail sales is in limbo after lawmakers failed to agree this week on legislation to regulate the adult-use market.
“A robust, above-ground retail marijuana market is necessary in order to disrupt the unregulated marketplace and to assure that consumers have adequate access to lab-tested, high quality products at competitive prices,” NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said.
A 2019 economic analysis estimated that adult-use legalization in New Mexico will create an estimated 11,000 new jobs within five years.