Cannabis Retail Licensing

Cannabis Retail Licensing

Since the legalization of recreational cannabis in New Mexico, the number of businesses enquiring about cannabis retail licensing has increased. Profits are there to be made for progressive business owners looking to sell cannabis-based products.

Most business owners are desperate to do things the right way from the start. They know that the authorities will be watching like hawks, especially in the early days of this burgeoning industry.

Any mistakes could lead to serious legal trouble and considerable expense. Qualified and experienced legal counsel is necessary when entering a high-risk industry like cannabis retail.

We are fully up to date with the changing legal and regulatory requirements and our industry knowledge can help you obtain the cannabis retail license you need to start your business on the right footing.

Producer/dispensary licenses for cannabis businesses in New Mexico

In New Mexico, there are several types of cannabis business licenses awarded: producers/dispensaries, manufacturers, and testing labs.

Considerable work goes into the production of safe cannabis products like edibles, capsules, and oils before they reach the stores – hence the need for the testing lab and manufacturer licenses.

In New Mexico, it has been legal since 2007 for licensed producers to grow up to 450 cannabis plants and for dispensaries to sell it to patients at a retail storefront.

To be able to sell cannabis products, your business will need a producer/dispensary license. Dispensaries (retail operations) must follow strict protocols from the state for product tracking, security, record-keeping, and hiring.

Cannabis business formation application

To successfully form a cannabis business in New Mexico, the business must be licensed for every type of work you want to perform.

Even if all of the services you are looking to provide are interrelated, you need a license for each component of the business operation.

For instance, if you intend to sell and deliver cannabis, the business must have both a retail store license and a transportation license.

Readying your business entity to meet the requirements of the licensing process is no simple matter. You must execute corporate documents, leases, and real estate agreements.

Your corporate documents are a vital part of your application. You must gather documents such as:

  • Articles of incorporation
  • Corporate bylaws
  • Partnership agreements
  • Certificates of good standing

Then, obtaining the state license to operate is the most difficult step. You will be competing against many aspiring business owners looking to be granted one of the limited number of licenses available. The application process is complex and detailed.

Amongst other documentation, you will need to submit a business plan showing how you intend to fund your operations and become a successful retailer, including information on personnel, horticulture, and technology.

Our experienced cannabis business attorneys can assist you in navigating these steps.

What are the fees and background check requirements?

Some regulations vary from city to city and area to area in New Mexico. Some local governments may even forbid cannabis retail ventures to operate.

It’s best to check with your local jurisdiction but the following are the state laws pertaining to fees:

  • Application fees: $10,000 to apply for a producer/dispensary license (manufacturer and testing lab licenses are less expensive).
  • License fees: $30,000 for a producer/dispensary license if you’re growing 150 plants or fewer. For each 50 plants, an additional $10,000 is added (e.g., $50,000 if you’re growing 201-250 plants).

All aspiring cannabis retail business owners in New Mexico must consent to an annual criminal history background check to obtain (or renew) a cannabis business license.

Get your New Mexico cannabis retail business set up the right way

The cannabis retail industry is only going to get more competitive. There’s no time to lose – but that’s no reason to cut corners. Mistakes are costly and the strongest businesses will be those that have planned ahead.

At Legal Solutions of New Mexico in Albuquerque, our experienced cannabis business lawyers can help you navigate the many legal hurdles to setting up your business. Call (505) 445-4444 to talk to a knowledgeable cannabis lawyer.


Family Law
Litigation & Consulting
Cannabis Law

Administrative Law


A law firm providing tailored solutions for your particular needs.


Contact Us