New Mexico Marijuana Courier License

What Is a Marijuana Courier License in New Mexico?

A New Mexico marijuana courier license permits the licensee to only transport usable cannabis and cannabis products directly to consumers. Usable cannabis refers to dried cannabis flowers, dried cannabis leaves, and any mixture or preparation of those flowers or leaves.

Does New Mexico Issue Marijuana Courier Licenses?

Yes. Pursuant to the HB 2 Cannabis Regulation Act, cannabis establishments transporting usable cannabis directly to consumers must obtain licenses from the Cannabis Control Division (CCD) to operate legally in New Mexico.

How to Apply for a Marijuana Courier License in New Mexico

Applications for marijuana courier licenses in New Mexico are currently not open. However, the Cannabis Control Division is expected to begin accepting license applications no later than January 01, 2022. License applications will be submitted through the CCD online licensing system. To start the licensing application, you will be required to create a new account on the CCD licensing portal. While creating a new account on the portal, applicants will be required to provide a physical postal address and an email address. An applicant will receive general correspondence from the CCD through the email address on file. Note that all applicants for a marijuana courier license must be at least 21 years old.

While waiting for the application window to open, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the CCD rules and regulations guiding the licensing application process. New Mexico allows marijuana courier license applicants to seek a variance from the CCD rules by filing a written petition with the Division. The petitioner must submit appropriate documents or material with the petition, which is believed to support the petition. The applicant is required to include the following in the petition:

  • Petitioner's name and address
  • The date of the application
  • The facility or activity for which variance is required
  • The address or description of the premises where the courier establishment or specific activity is located
  • The CCD rule(s) from which variance is required
  • Detailed information about the extent to which variance from the CCD rules is required and how the petitioner intends to ensure public health and safety will not be negatively impacted
  • Why the petitioner believes compliance with the CCD rules will impose an unreasonable burden on the marijuana courier establishment or activity
  • The duration for which the variance is desired, including the reasons, data, reports, and other information demonstrating that such period is reasonable and justifiable.

After a public hearing pursuant to the Open Meetings Act, the CCD may grant the variance sought in part or whole, provided the variance:

  • Does not contradict the Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA) or public interest
  • Does not have a negative environmental impact
  • Is not damaging to public health and safety

Applicants for licensure must consent to and undertake a national criminal history background check and a statewide criminal history screening background check conducted by the department of public safety (DPS) no more than 90 days before filing an application. The CCD will require background checks for:

  • Each limited partnership partner;
  • Each limited liability company member;
  • Each corporation or trust director, officer, or trustee; and
  • Any controlling person of the applicant

Note that the applicant will be responsible for paying all fees related to the national criminal history background check and the New Mexico Department of Public Safety statewide criminal history background check.

The CCD will review felony convictions in accordance with the Cannabis Regulation Act and the Criminal Offender Employment Act. The following are deemed significantly connected to an applicant's or person's qualifications, tasks, or duties:

  • A felony conviction for embezzlement, deceit, or fraud
  • A felony conviction for employing, hiring, or otherwise employing a person under the age of 18 to:
    • prepare a controlled substance for sale or transport; or
    • sell, offer to sell, or give away a controlled substance to any individual
  • A felony offense for possession, manufacture, distribution, use, or dispensing, or possession with the intent to manufacture, dispense, or distribute a controlled substance. New Mexico law does not include cannabis in the scope of controlled substances for the purpose of this rule.

Local laws also apply to marijuana courier licensing applications. Under the New Mexico Cannabis Regulation Act, an applicant must comply with all applicable local laws that do not conflict with the CRA, including regulations guiding food and product safety, occupational health and safety, natural resource protection, environmental impacts, operation of a cannabis establishment, construction and building codes, zoning, employment, building and fire codes, and business or professional licensing. Hence, it is recommended that you research the specific local law or municipal regulations applicable to the locality where you plan to establish your marijuana courier business.

If the CCD determines that an application for licensure is incomplete, it will notify the applicant by email and indicate the information or documents that the applicant must still supply. If the applicant fails to provide the requisite information or documents within 90 days of receiving notification of the deficiency, the application will be closed as incomplete and licensure denied under the Uniform Licensing Act. Consequently, the applicant will be required to file a new application to restart the application process. All license fees are non-refundable and must be paid with every new application.

The CCD may issue a provisional license letter upon written request of the applicant, with specified provisions that the applicant must obtain specific documents that are either pending approval of the marijuana courier license or are required from other state agencies or local jurisdictions for the application to be considered complete.

The provisional license letter will include the remaining items needed to complete the application and will expire six months from the issuance date. The CCD may extend a provisional license letter for an additional six months upon the applicant's written request. The provisional license letter will specify that final approval or denial of a license is conditional on the applicant providing all remaining items. A provisional license does authorize the applicant to commence regulated cannabis activity.

Applicants may withdraw their applications at any time before the CCD makes a final determination on their license applications. Withdrawal requests must be sent to the Division in writing, dated, and signed by the applicant. Except in situations where the Division has consented in writing to such withdrawal, withdrawal of an application does not preclude the Division from initiating or continuing a proceeding against the applicant for denial of the license on any ground provided by law or from entering an order denying the license on any such ground. The CCD will not refund the application fee for withdrawn applications. After withdrawing an application, an applicant may reapply at any time but must submit a new application and fee.

How Much Does a Cannabis Courier License Cost in New Mexico?

According to the CCD, a New Mexico adult-use cannabis courier license costs $250 and $100 for each additional licensed premises. The license is only valid for one year and may be renewed at the same cost as the initial licensing fee.

Can Licensed Marijuana Courier Licensees Hold Other Cannabis Licenses in New Mexico?

There are no explicit restrictions in the New Mexico Cannabis Regulation Act restricting the types of cannabis business licenses that licensed cannabis couriers in the state may hold. The Act even permits cannabis business licensees in the state to conduct any approved marijuana activity or a combination of lawful activities at their licensed premises, provided that the licensees have not obtained their licenses under the New Mexico Liquor Control Act.

New Mexico Marijuana Courier License
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