Albuquerque Cannabis Regulation and Compliance
Though there has been movement on the legalization of recreational marijuana here in New Mexico, it is not yet law. The New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program is currently the only way for New Mexicans to lawfully possess and ingest cannabis in our state. This program is highly regulated. Businesses that wish to produce, manufacture, or distribute medical marijuana to qualified patients must be licensed to do business by the Department of Health. There are many rules and regulations that a business must follow in order to qualify for and maintain a marijuana business license. Learn more about New Mexico's Medical Cannabis Program, what is required of participating businesses, and how an Albuquerque cannabis lawyer can help your business stay legally compliant in order to avoid liability.
Cannabis Business Licenses and Operations
In order to produce, manufacture or distribute medical marijuana, a business must apply to the New Mexico Department of Health to be a Licensed Non Profit Producer (LNPP), Medical Cannabis Manufacturer, or a Medical Cannabis Courier. The application process is detailed, and state cannabis laws require applicants to cooperate with the Department in the application process. A cannabis attorney can prepare your application in order to avoid unnecessary costs and delays in the application process. Once a business has a license to operate, there is a detailed set of rules and laws that must be followed in the operation of a cannabis business.
Compliance with Cannabis Rules and Regulations
The rules and regulations for businesses that participate in the Medical Cannabis Program are codified in Section 7.34.4 of the New Mexico Administrative Code. These regulations allow for patients to have a license for personal production of marijuana plants for their own use, as well as providing licensing options for facilities to become Licensed Non-Profit Providers. The regulations start with requirements to cooperate with the Department in the application process and submit to a criminal history screening.
The regulations set production limits for both personal use and LNPPs. There are also provisions to request increased production from the Department in limited circumstances. Businesses are limited in how much medical cannabis they may sell to a single patient or caregiver within a ninety-day period. The regulations also require video recordings of any cannabis that is destroyed. These recordings must be retained for 120 days and are subject to review by the Department.
New Mexico's Cannabis Program Rules
So how are these rules enforced? The Administrative Code allows the Department to test cannabis products and facilities to ensure they conform to clear standards of cleanliness, health, and safety. It also sets minimum standards for laboratories that will be authorized to test cannabis and related products on behalf of the state. The Code specifies very clear minimum standards that must be used in the production of medical cannabis and cannabis-derived products. These rules ensure that clean, safe cannabis is sold to medical patients, and they regulate everything from the maximum water content to the training of employees in medical cannabis production facilities.
The Program also has set rules for those who apply to be couriers. Couriers may obtain a license to transport cannabis to qualified patients, primary caregivers, other non-profit producers, approved manufacturers, and approved laboratories. The Code requires applicants to provide extensive information about their safety plans, employees' criminal histories, facilities that will receive shipments, the courier fees that will be charged, training materials for employees, and much more. Applicants must also attest that: (1) they will not distribute cannabis within 300 feet of a school, church, or daycare center, (2) no firearms will be permitted on any premises or in any vehicle used by the courier; (3) no employee will possess a firearm when transporting or distributing cannabis; and (4) the courier will not transport cannabis across state lines. This is just part of the extensive application process. Once a cannabis courier permit is issued, the courier business is subject to expensive rules that govern how it may transport medical cannabis throughout the state. It is critical that courier companies have strict written protocols requiring employees to adhere to these laws. The companies must then enforce these rules and ensure that employees actually follow them. If not, the courier's business license could be revoked by the state. A cannabis lawyer can help courier businesses avoid this costly problem by developing, implementing, and updating employment policies on a regular basis to conform with current cannabis regulations.
Experienced New Mexico Cannabis Lawyers For All Your Business Needs
There are great business opportunities for medical cannabis companies here in New Mexico. Because recreational marijuana use is not permitted, medical cannabis use is still highly regulated in our state. Business owners can save time and money by hiring a cannabis attorney to help prepare their application for a business license. A lawyer can also help your business develop, implement, review, and update your business practices to ensure your company's compliance with the law. This can help avoid costly fines, lost revenue, and even the revocation of a cannabis business license. The experienced Albuquerque cannabis lawyers at Legal Solutions of New Mexico are here to help your medical cannabis business succeed. Call (505) 445-4444 to schedule your consultation.