February 13, 2018

SB 523 was signed into law by Bill Richardson, a New Mexico senator, in April of 2007. This Senate Bill legalized the possession, distribution, and use of medical marijuana for registered patients suffering from qualifying conditions. Additional changes were made in February of 2015 by the Department of Health.

After having been closed for a while, the application period opened up once again in 2015, only to be closed again by May of that same year. It was open to only nonprofit marijuana businesses. At the moment, the application window is closed, and there is no word as to when it will be opened again. In case it does open again, it is a good idea to be prepared.

Marijuana delivery services in New Mexico are officially called “courier services,” and the license application window for those is also currently closed. Courier services may transport cannabis to a primary caregiver, a registered patient, a not-for-profit producer, a qualifying laboratory, or a qualifying manufacturer.

Approved courier services may partner up with dispensaries in New Mexico to give caregivers, other approved marijuana facilities, or patients the medical marijuana products they need.

When was cannabis made legal

The 2007 legislation that legalized marijuana was called the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. Since this law, medical marijuana patients can possess as much as 8 ounces of medical marijuana during a 3-month period of time. If a physician calls for more to be necessary, then the patient can have even more than that.

Personal production licenses are also available because of the 2007 act. Qualified patients may apply for it, and, if granted, can grow 16 plants in total in their homes. Only four of them may be mature at a time, with up to 12 in their vegetative phase of growth.

When was cannabis made legal
When was cannabis made legal – Image powered by Thedailychronic.net

The changes made in March of 2015 lowered the strictness of the personal use marijuana laws. If someone (a non-patient) is found possessing an ounce or less of marijuana, he or she will be subject to a fine of $50 to $100 and as many as 15 days in jail. As soon as someone possesses more than an ounce, however, the punishment goes up to $1000 and as much as a year in jail.

How many marijuana businesses are currently in New Mexico

Marijuana businesses in New Mexico are licensed as non-profit producers (“LNPP”). New Mexico’s medical marijuana system is still growing. After initially having very little confidentiality protection for cannabis businesses, the state now passed strong laws to address that.

The University of New Mexico has a research program for marijuana that updates approved conditions. While the conditions of Opioid Use Disorder and Alzheimer’s disease have passed the state’s medical advisory board, they now just need to be approved by the State Health Secretary. However, New Mexico governor, Susana Martinez, follows a strict anti-marijuana stance and has declined all marijuana-related bills that were presented to her in the last year.

The Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health has the power to decide the number of licenses issued. It is not currently accepting new applications, so there are no plans to add to the 48 operating dispensaries.

How much money is in the New Mexico marijuana market

Medical sales for 2016 were around $97,900,000. Even without taking on additional dispensaries or changing the laws, expected revenue from marijuana businesses in 2021 will reach around $131,300,000.

Delivery Owner requirements

Courier owner requirements are the same as dispensary owner requirements, at least regarding the application process. All board members must be residents. Applicants must provide a copy of a New Mexico driver’s license or ID or a federally issued photo identification card verifying New Mexico residence.

Vertical Integration is required for marijuana business owners. There is a single license for cultivation and sale, called a licensed non-profit producer (LNPP). License holders do not have to open a shop. Manufacturers and labs both have separate license types. A manufacturer may be associated with an LNPP or operate independently.

Delivery Owner requirements
Delivery Owner requirements – Image powered by Cannarecruiter.com

License and financial requirements

The licensing period for new marijuana businesses in New Mexico is currently closed. We have no new information as to when it will open again. That said, plenty of information will need to be supplied when the applications do open again. The information includes but is not limited to:

  • A plan for delivery, security, safety,
  • Transport vehicles’ description
  • Employees list
  • ID cards of all courier personnel and any other persons involved
  • History screening documentation
  • List of producers and other facilities the courier will deliver for
  • Description of fees the courier will charge
  • Any and all business protocols
  • Proof of location legality (that it’s not within 300 feet of a daycare, church, or school)

The fees associated with opening a marijuana business in New Mexico are as follows:

  • Lab application fee: $2,200
  • Manufacturer application fee: $1,000
  • LNPP application fee: $10,000 (but if the application is denied $9,000 is returned.)
  • Initial (and then yearly) background check: must pay all associated fees
  • A yearly background check of everyone associated with marijuana businesses: must pay all associated fees.


Timeframe – Image powered by Mcgpartners.net

Starting a delivery service in New Mexico will take some time, especially since the state is not currently accepting applications. If new businesses are permitted in the future, it’s a good idea to allow at least a year to secure finances, acquire the necessary licenses, and line up employees and suppliers.

Links to consulting companies that can help start a marijuana delivery service in New Mexico

Looking to start a marijuana delivery service in New Mexico? The consulting firms 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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