Bernalillo County Cannabis – Is It Legal & Where To Buy 2024

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Bernalillo County?

Yes. The Cannabis Regulation Act of New Mexico was signed on April 12, 2021, and the licensed sales of recreational cannabis were launched a year later, on April 1, 2022. In Bernalillo County, home cultivation of cannabis is allowed, given a maximum of six plants for an individual or twelve plants for a household with two or more adults over the age of 21. Outdoor production is also allowed in Bernalillo County but is subject to limitations depending on the size of the property.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Bernalillo County?

Yes. Cannabis Regulation Act, Section 6 says that the New Mexico Department of Environment shall license and renew the license for medical cannabis manufacturers upon a requirement that the manufacturer sells a minimum percentage of total cannabis products sold. The minimum percentage shall be not less than 20% and not more than 40% of total cannabis products sold from the prior twelve months' operation of the manufacturer.

The Act also created the Cannabis Control Commission, which issues licenses for cannabis manufacturers as follows:

  • "cannabis manufacturing level 1" for an area that manufactures cannabis extracts using nonvolatile solvents or no solvents
  • "cannabis manufacturing level 2" for an area that manufactures cannabis extracts using volatile solvents

For manufacturers applying for a vertically integrated license, you only have to submit the social and economic equity plan, water and energy use plan, and proof of age for every person involved.

For manufacturers applying for a cannabis microbusiness producer license or standalone cannabis producer, you have to submit the social and economic equity plan, water and energy use plan, proof of age for every person involved, criminal history screening affidavit, Department of Public Safety authorization, premises diagram attestation, and a gas extraction permit from the New Mexico Construction Industries Division.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Bernalillo County?

Yes. The New Mexico Department of Health approves and regulates the license of the dispensary. If a licensed dispenser or retailer sells, distributes, transfers, or dispenses cannabis to a person not approved by the Department of Health pursuant to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act or acquires or transports cannabis outside the state in violation of federal law, the licensed retailer shall be subject to arrest. 

In Bernalillo County, adults 21 years old and above can purchase and possess up to two ounces of cannabis, up to 800 milligrams of edible cannabis, or 16 grams of a cannabis extract, at one time. However, residents can still have a larger supply in their homes. Approved forms of cannabis include edibles and topical products. All public consumption of cannabis and cannabis products is prohibited and punishable with a fine of up to $50.

According to Cannabis Regulation Act, a dual licensed (medical cannabis and adult-use cannabis) dispensary shall not be located within twenty-five miles of a state store located within Bernalillo County.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Bernalillo County?

Yes. Cannabis Regulation Act Section 12 says only a cannabis retailer, cannabis courier, or cannabis microbusiness may deliver cannabis products. A cannabis consumer who requests courier service must maintain a physical or electronic copy of the delivery request for the span of time that the consumer owns the cannabis product that was purchased and received by the courier. The consumer shall make the physical or electronic copy available upon request by the Cannabis Control Commission or a law enforcement officer.

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, patients with medical marijuana card may use a courier to deliver medical cannabis to them. The couriers will ask for their ID as proof that they are registered patients.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Bernalillo County

To register for a medical marijuana card in New Mexico, a qualifying patient must have any of the following conditions:

  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Cancer
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Damage to the Nervous Tissue of the Spinal Cord (with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity)
  • Epilepsy/Seizure Disorder
  • Friedreich's Ataxia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C Infection currently receiving antiviral therapy
  • Hospice Care
  • Huntington's disease
  • Inclusion Body Myositis
  • Inflammatory Autoimmune-mediated Arthritis
  • Intractable Nausea/Vomiting
  • Lewy Body Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Opioid Use Disorder
  • Painful Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Severe Anorexia/Cachexia
  • Severe Chronic Pain
  • Spasmodic Torticollis (Cervical Dystonia)
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  • Ulcerative Colitis

However, if the patient does not have the qualifying conditions above and would benefit from medical cannabis use, that person can still petition the Medical Advisory Board to add their health condition to the current list.

You may fill out the application form issued by the New Mexico Department of Public Health. Make sure that the same form is completed and signed by the medical provider, then mail it to: 

Department of Health

Medical Cannabis Program

PO Box 26110

Santa Fe, NM 87502-6110 

You may also drop the application form at this address:

Department of Health

Medical Cannabis Program

1474 Rodeo Road, Suite 200

Santa Fe, NM 87505

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Bernalillo County?

On the first weekend of April 2022, when the licensed sales of recreational cannabis were launched, cannabis retailers made over $5.2 million in sales with medical and adult-use cannabis purchases combined. Adult-use sales generated more than $3.5 million, whereas medical cannabis brought in over $1.6 million. The amount came from more than 87,700 individual transactions within New Mexico.

Moreover, a recent study from The University of New Mexico and California Polytechnic University discovered that the opening of legal recreational cannabis dispensaries helped increase employment, especially in cannabis manufacturing.

The rate of the cannabis excise tax, according to Cannabis Regulation Act, is 4% and is applied to the amount paid for the cannabis item.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Bernalillo County

Adult-use cannabis in New Mexico was recently legalized in 2021. The FBI crime database reported a decrease in New Mexico's DUI cases from 2019 to 2020, with the number of arrests going down from 4,961 to 2,844, respectively. For Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office, the DUI cases in 2019 and 2020 increased from 28 to 320.

For the total drug-related cases in Bernalillo County from 2019 to 2020, data from the FBI crime report showed a significant increase in the number of arrests from 14 to 251. 

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Bernalillo County Cannabis