May 20, 2019

New Mexico legalized the use, possession, and sale/distribution of medicinal cannabis for patients with qualifying medical conditions in 2007, and expanded the program in February of 2015. During that time, the state accepted new application for marijuana growing operations, but only for a month. As of now, New Mexico is not accepting any new cannabis business applications. Nonetheless, let’s take a look at what’s involved in starting a marijuana growing operation in New Mexico.

When was marijuana legalized?

The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act in 2007 was voted on in New Mexico to legalize medical marijuana. The Medical Cannabis Program allows qualified patients to possess up to 8 ounces of medical cannabis over a 90-day period, although more if authorized by the physician.

The law also allows qualified patients to apply for a Personal Production License, which would allow them to home cultivate a total of 16 plants, including four mature and 12 in the vegetative stage.

When was marijuana legalized
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New Mexico’s personal use marijuana laws are less punishing than those of many states. In addition to the legalization of medical marijuana, New Mexico decriminalized the simple possession of 1 ounce or less to a $50-100 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

How many marijuana businesses are in New Mexico

There are currently 48 licensed medical cannabis businesses operating in New Mexico. The state’s marijuana market was slightly over 97 million dollars at the end of 2016, and it’s rapidly growing. Cannabis sales have overshadowed the state’s green chili market, which pulls in $41 million, and the New Mexico alcohol market at $30 million.

License requirements

Starting a marijuana growing operation in New Mexico can be quite complicated. Cannabis growers must maintain non-profit status and have a doctor, a nurse and a physician on board.

The prospective growing operation owners are only able to submit their application after their board has been set up, and only during open application periods. All growing operations need to be approved by the Department of Health.

To open a grow facility, you must be New Mexico resident, although it isn’t specified for how long. At a minimum, you are required to produce a New Mexico driver’s license or comparable state of New Mexico or federally issued photo identification card verifying New Mexico residence.

You should also check the local laws before opening your business. New Mexico lets counties and cities to set rules for growers and sellers, including banning them if they choose.

Financial requirements

Financial requirements
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Licensing fees can range from $30,000 for 150 plants to $60,000 for 300 plants. There is a yearly background check for everyone associated with marijuana growing operations, and you’re required to pay all the associated fees.

It can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 to open a growing operation in New Mexico. There are also insurance costs, which should be similar to that of a typical business owner.

How much does a New Mexico marijuana growing operation make?

Marijuana growing operations generally bring anywhere from $50,000 a year up to millions, or even tens of millions of dollars.


It may take longer than usual to start a business in New Mexico, especially since the state isn’t currently accepting applications. However, when they do, it’s a good idea to allow at least a year to get your cannabis growing operation up and running.

Links to consulting companies that can help open a New Mexico marijuana growing operation

Links – Image powered by Samanthadmalloy.com

Looking to start a marijuana growing operation in New Mexico? The consulting companies listed below provide a wide range of services from helping with state licensing requirements and applications to running and stocking your business.

Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]


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  1. By Isachar Benitez ,10 Apr 2019
    I would like to open a marijuana dispensary in Los Lunas New Mexico need information on permits and and help getting funding

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