Cannabis License Application: How to Prepare Before Applying

With the legalization of recreational cannabis earlier this year, more businesses and entrepreneurs are applying for cannabis licenses in New Mexico.

This can involve a lengthy process because licensing is in its early days and it’s competitive. Licenses are highly coveted and the state government wants to maintain control over the industry from the start.

It’s important, therefore, to understand what type of license you need and to be prepared for a rigorous vetting process before submitting your application for a license.

Preparing the correct documentation and being ready for the various checks that the licensing body will do before approving your application is no small undertaking.

Under the Cannabis Regulation Act, the Cannabis Control Division (CCD) administers the licensing provisions of the law governing medical and recreational cannabis.

Many of the qualifications for licensure and the procedures for obtaining licensure are in their infancy but here’s what you currently need to know about preparing for your cannabis license application in New Mexico…

Determine what you need for your cannabis business license 

Before you apply for a license, decide what your business will do exactly—as that will impact the type of license you require.

Different licenses are available in New Mexico for:

  • Cultivating cannabis: you will need to apply for a cannabis producer license
  • Manufacturing and distributing cannabis products: you will need to apply for a cannabis manufacturer license
  • Selling cannabis products directly to consumers: you will need to apply for a cannabis retail license

When reviewing your license application, the government officials will look for a competent team who can run all aspects of the business—for instance, if you are applying for a cultivation license, you will need a professional management team as well as experts in cannabis cultivation.

The CCD will want to know detailed information about these people and run background checks to ensure that there have been no criminal convictions. It is in the interests of the CCD to ensure that the cannabis industry keeps its reputation clean so be prepared for some rigorous checks of all the personnel in your proposed business.

Be prepared for this by running your own background checks beforehand and having as much information as possible available to submit. Be ready to answer questions if need be. The last thing you want is to have to replace a key member of the team later on to secure a license.

Other useful documentation to gather includes:

  • Tax returns for all of the business owners
  • Personal and business bios for all owners
  • Information on any philanthropic work or donations made

As well as the “who” and “what” of your cannabis business, the CCD will also want to know details of “where”:

  • Where do you intend to operate your business and is this location already secured?
  • If so, is it compatible with your business plans?

These are important considerations when preparing to apply for a cannabis business license.

Adult cannabis license and fees

The main cannabis business licenses available in New Mexico are:

  • Cannabis Producer License:
  • Cannabis Manufacturer License:
  • Cannabis Retail License:

Check all cannabis licensing regulations before you apply

Before you apply for your license, it is important to understand the relevant regulations surrounding the cannabis industry in New Mexico—and your proposed role within it. If you work with one of our cannabis business license lawyers, much of this information will be imparted to you naturally as you prepare to lodge your application.

The state regulations in New Mexico have been formulated only recently but there are also municipal regulations to be aware of, depending on the zone your business operates in. You may be able to locate and learn from the local community regulators to be fully across the local rules.

You need to design your business with all such regulations in mind and be prepared to comply before you consider applying for a license.

Cannabis production, manufacturing and sale are also subject to some federal laws that can initiate a federal investigation against you if you violate them.

Hire legal guidance from a cannabis business lawyer

Navigating the application for a cannabis business license alone can be daunting. The support of a seasoned cannabis business lawyer can help you tick all the boxes, ensure that nothing is missed, and prepare well beforehand for a smooth license application.

Well before the legalization of recreational cannabis, the cannabis lawyers at Legal Solutions of New Mexico helped many cannabis businesses get set up in the state. This experience goes a long way to help with getting your business prepared for licensing.

Start with a free consultation by calling 505) 445-4444 and if you want to learn more about our cannabis business consulting service, we can take it from there.