What Is a Marijuana Microbusiness in New Mexico?
House Bill 12 of New Mexico, otherwise known as the New Mexico Cannabis Control Act, defines cannabis establishments that grow small quantities of cannabis plants as cannabis microbusinesses. Section 2 (K) 1 of the Cannabis Control Act specifies that a cannabis microbusiness shall not possess more than 99 matured plants of cannabis at a time. However, cannabis microbusinesses are allowed to grow up to two hundred plants of cannabis.
Does New Mexico License Marijuana Microbusinesses?
Section 6 (D) subsection 6 and 7 of the New Mexico Cannabis Control Act authorizes the Cannabis Control Division to license the two types of marijuana microbusiness licenses in New Mexico. These licenses include:
- Integrated cannabis microbusinesses
- Cannabis producer microbusinesses
New Mexico started issuing licenses for the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program on October 1, 2021. Therefore it is illegal for any cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, distributor, or retailer to operate a microbusiness without obtaining a license. The Cannabis Producer Microbusiness License may be obtained by marijuana business establishments that cultivate 200 plants of marijuana or less. Cannabis establishments that engage in two to five marijuana activities may obtain the Integrated Cannabis Microbusiness License.
How to Apply for a Marijuana Microbusiness License in New Mexico
The New Mexico Cannabis Control Division provides a checklist of documents that applicants for commercial marijuana producer licenses must supply before being granted a license. The applicants must upload these documents on the online license application portal of the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department. Applicants are required to upload documents containing the following details for the cannabis microbusiness licenses they seek to obtain:
- A social and economic equity plan: This document should contain the applicant’s plans to ensure economic and social diversity in their human resource structure. It should emphasize key areas like:
- Residential status of the license applicant
- Identity and residential status of persons in positions of control in the establishment.
- Identity and residential status of the employees of the applicant
- The location of the site where the cannabis products are produced
- The location of the site where the cannabis products can be obtained in specific underserved rural communities.
- Proof of age of every personnel in positions of control in the establishment: The applicant must submit an identification document produced by either the federal government or state government for each staff in positions of control. The identification document of each person should include the following:
- Date of birth
- Picture of the person (either of the applicant or other persons in position of control)
The applicant must also upload the following documents for each business premises they intend to use for the cannabis microbusiness:
- A copy of the applicant’s current business license.
- A copy of the premises’ current fire inspection report.
- A copy of the current zoning approval obtained by the applicant.
- A statement of ownership of the premises: The applicant is required to upload a fully executed document establishing that the applicant has ownership or legal authority for the property to be used for the business. This document must be dated.
- Proof of water right: The applicant is required to upload proof that they have obtained a legal right to use water in volumes that would be required for the production of cannabis. However, the New Mexico Cannabis Control Division determines the volume of water required for producing cannabis. Applicants may contact the Division to enquire about the volume of water that their cannabis microbusiness establishment requires. Having determined the volume of water required by their establishment for the production of cannabis, the applicant will need to upload either of the following documents to prove that they have the required water right:
- A document from the water provider ascertaining that the applicant has the right to use the water for cannabis production and conforms with the water providers rules; or
- A document issued by the Office of the New Mexico State Engineer to prove that the applicant has an existing valid water right. The applicant may otherwise present a document from the state engineer showing that they have a right or a permit to get a water right for outdoor or indoor cultivation irrigation purposes at the business premises.
- A plan for the sustainable use of energy and water. This document should include strategies employed by the company to achieve this, such as:
- Drip irrigation and water collection methods
- Energy efficiency measures and the use of natural lights
- Generation and use of renewable energy
- The estimated use of water and energy that will be appropriate for the cultivation plan of the cannabis establishment
- A diagram representation of the premises of the cannabis establishment showing the following places:
- The boundaries of the proposed premises for the cannabis establishment.
- The dimensions of the portion of the premises where the cannabis plants will be planted.
- The location within the premises where other plants will be cultivated (In case other plants different from cannabis will be cultivated within the premises)
- The points where cameras will be located. Each of the cameras is to be assigned a number for identification.
The diagram is also required to include the following:
- Equipment to be used for the cannabis cultivation and production
- The entrances to the premises and the exits of the premises
- The planned interior partitioning of the premises
- The locations of the lightning points in the cannabis plant cultivation areas in the premises and the maximum wattage of the bulbs to be used
- The walls, rooms, windows, and doorways of the premises
- A brief description of the activities to be done in each of the locations mentioned in the diagram.
The diagram is required to be in black-and-white print and must be drawn to scale. If the proposed premises for cannabis establishment is only a portion of the property, the diagram should indicate which areas of the property will be used for the marijuana business. The diagram should also show the activities performed in the remaining areas of the property. If a single portion of the property is planned to accommodate two or more licensed facilities, the applicant must explain in detail how they plan to manage the operations of the two or more licensed facilities on the property. For clarity, the explanation should be provided using the aid of the diagram. There may also be a case where the proposed premises is located on a residential property. The diagram should show the designated buildings for the residence and the premises.
The New Mexico Cannabis Control Department also requires applicants to upload documents certifying that:
- They will make themselves available for national criminal history background checks and the statewide criminal history screening conducted by the Department of Public Safety. Persons in the cannabis establishment that will be required to present themselves for criminal history screening include:
- Every partner of a limited partnership marijuana company
- All of the members of the limited liability marijuana company
- Each of the directors, officers, or members of the board of trustees of the corporation or trust
- Any of the personnel in the establishment in a position of control
- They will comply with the cannabis production requirements in New Mexico as stated in the Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA), the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act (LECUA), and the rules of the Cannabis Regulatory Division. They also need to ascertain that they will create and maintain a cultivation plan and waste management procedure for the cannabis and cannabis products.
- They will comply with cannabis transport requirements as stated in Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA), the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act (LECUA), and the rules of the Cannabis Regulatory Division. This also applies to the transportation of raw cannabis and cannabis products to other cannabis establishments.
- To ensure a safe product and environment, they will comply with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) regulations for pesticide registration, licensing, and use requirements.
- They will comply with the security requirements of the CRA, the LECUA, the rules of the Cannabis Regulatory Division, and the requirements for the safety and security procedures. They will be required to state the security devices they will use on the premises, the positioning of the security devices, and techniques for crime prevention and personal safety.
- They will comply with the quality assurance requirements of the CRA, the LECUA, and the rules of the Cannabis Regulatory Division. They are also required to make the facility available for inspection by the Cannabis Regulatory Division during regular business hours and make provisions for routine testing by a licensed testing laboratory.
- They will comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws protecting public health and the environment. These include laws guiding occupational health and safety, food safety, environmental impacts, natural resource protection, air quality, wastewater discharge, and solid and hazardous waste management.
- The Cannabis Regulatory Division has never denied them a license or that they have a license revoked or suspended, either by the CRA or licensing authority in another state. They or anyone in a position of control in the establishment must not have been sanctioned by any state licensing authority for unlicensed cannabis activity within three years of the license application date.
- Their business and all the documents they have supplied are in good standing with the New Mexico Secretary of State.
Applicants for cannabis microbusiness licenses will be required to pay licensing fees and premises fees when submitting their completed applications. The licensing and premises fees are non-refundable.
Applicants may also visit the Regulation and Licensing Department of the New Mexico Cannabis Control Division at their physical office at:
New Mexico Cannabis Control Division
Regulation & Licensing Department
2550 Cerrillos Road,
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Phone number: (505) 476-4500
Applicants can also mail inquiries to the Regulation and Licensing Department at RLD.CannabisControl@state.nm.us.
How Much Does a Marijuana Microbusiness License Cost in New Mexico?
New Mexico requires applicants for marijuana microbusiness licenses to pay the annual license fees required for the type of microbusiness license they are applying for, and their premises fee. A cannabis microbusiness licensee must pay a $1,000 premises fee for each additional premises to be used for the cannabis microbusiness. The Cannabis Control Division determines the annual license fees payable by Cannabis Producer Micro Businesses based on the number of marijuana plants they cultivate. The different annual license fees payable under the two categories of cannabis microbusiness licenses are stated below:
Cannabis Producer Microbusiness license:
- Establishments growing 100 plants or less are required to pay an annual license fee of $500
- Establishments growing 101-200 plants or less are required to pay an annual license fee of $1000
Integrated Cannabis Microbusiness License:
- Establishments engaged in two cannabis activities are required to pay an annual fee of $1,000
- Establishments engaged in three cannabis activities are required to pay an annual fee of $1,500
- Establishments engaged in four cannabis activities are required to pay an annual fee of $2,000
- Establishments engaged in five cannabis activities are required to pay an annual fee of $2,500
Can Marijuana Microbusiness Licensees Hold Other Cannabis Licenses in New Mexico?
Marijuana microbusinesses in New Mexico do not need to hold multiple cannabis licenses to engage in different marijuana business activities. Cannabis microbusiness license applicants who wish to run different cannabis businesses simultaneously may apply for the Integrated Cannabis Microbusiness License. The Integrated Cannabis Microbusiness License authorizes licensees to engage in any or all the cannabis activities stated below:
- Marijuana production at a single facility
- Marijuana plants cultivation at a single facility
- Marijuana products manufacture
- Marijuana or marijuana products distribution
- Sales and transportation of marijuana products that are either produced or manufactured by them
However, a cannabis microbusiness license applicant must state all the cannabis activities they want to engage in while applying for the license. The number of activities indicated by the applicant will determine the annual license fees that they will be required to pay to the New Mexico Cannabis Control Division.