With New Mexico’s cannabis laws still being developed, in the wake of the legalization of recreational cannabis in the state earlier this year, steps have been taken recently to protect the needs of a class of cannabis users who rely on it for its medicinal powers.
The Cannabis Regulation Act of New Mexico legalized and regulated the purchase and usage of cannabis for adults 21 and older when it was passed on March 31, 2021. It was signed into law on June 29, 2021.
Medical cannabis has been legal in the state for several years already. Recently, actions taken by a judge in the state opened the door for an increase in the medical cannabis purchase limits for residents of the state sooner rather than later.
What are the new purchase limits for medical cannabis in New Mexico?
In August 2021, a judge ordered New Mexico’s Department of Health and the Regulation and Licensing Department to stop enforcing medical cannabis purchase limits under old laws and to begin applying the provisions of the Cannabis Regulation Act – or appear in court to argue why they should not comply with the order.
Old limits for purchasing the medicine specified a maximum of eight ounces of cannabis in a 90-day period. This was enforced using a purchase-tracking system adopted by all dispensaries, which cut off the supply to patients when they reached the eight-ounce limit.
This, it has been argued, caused difficulties for some patients in the treatment of serious health conditions.
Under the Cannabis Regulation Act, cannabis users can purchase up to two ounces at a time tax-free when retail sales become legal by April 2022.
One patient in Bernalillo County recently argued that by continuing to apply the old regulations, he was illegally being kept from purchasing the cannabis required to treat his medical condition. He is also challenging the use of old rules regarding plant-count limits for producers.
Then patient argues that the new rules should have been applied from June 29, 2021, when the new regulations were signed into law.
The responsibility for regulating the sale of cannabis is still in the process of being transferred from the Department of Health to the Regulation and Licensing Department’s Cannabis Control Division. The patient included the state agencies and employees of both departments in the lawsuit and the outcome remains to be seen at this stage.
Who can purchase cannabis in New Mexico under the new laws – and what are the limits?
Under the new laws included in the Cannabis Regulation Act of New Mexico, adults 21 and older in the state are allowed to:
- Possess, purchase, and give other adults up to two ounces of cannabis, up to 16 grams of concentrated marijuana, and 800 milligrams of edible cannabis.
- Create cannabis-infused foods at home or perform extracts that do not involve volatile solvents.
- Possess a larger amount of cannabis if it is stored in a locked space at the person’s residence that is not visible from public spaces.
- Possess, manufacture, and give away paraphernalia.
What conditions qualify for medical cannabis usage in New Mexico?
A large number of medical conditions are listed by the New Mexico Department of Health as qualifying for the usage of medical cannabis. These include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
- Cervical dystonia
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy and seizure disorders
- Hepatitis C
- Hospice care
- Huntington’s disease
- Inclusion-body myositis
- Inflammatory autoimmune-mediated arthritis
- Intractable nausea or vomiting
- Intractable spasticity
- Lewy body disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Opioid use disorder
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe chronic pain
- Spinal cord damage
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Ulcerative colitis
Need help understanding the medical cannabis laws in New Mexico?
Whether you are a medical cannabis patient, run a dispensary, or are looking to enter the burgeoning cannabis industry in New Mexico by opening a related business, a firm grasp of the relevant laws is essential.
This is especially the case when the interpretation of the new laws is still in its early stages.
At Legal Solutions of New Mexico in Albuquerque, our lawyers are intimately familiar with developing cannabis regulations. If you would like to discuss your requirements with a knowledgeable cannabis lawyer, call (505) 445-4444.