New Mexico Vertically Integrated Cannabis Establishment License

  1. New Mexico Cannabis
  2. New Mexico Marijuana Business
  3. Licensing
  4. Vertically Integrated Establishment License

What Is a Vertically Integrated Cannabis Establishment License In New Mexico?

A New Mexico vertically integrated cannabis establishment license authorizes the licensee to act as a combination or any of the following: cannabis retailer, cannabis producer, cannabis manufacturer, or a cannabis courier in the state.

Does New Mexico Issue Vertically Integrated Cannabis Establishment Licenses?

Yes. Per the New Mexico Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA), the state’s Cannabis Control Division is authorized to issue vertically integrated cannabis licenses to cannabis establishments to conduct one or more of the following legally:

  • Courier of cannabis products
  • Retail establishment
  • Production of cannabis
  • Manufacturing of cannabis products

Vertically integrated cannabis establishments may request the Cannabis Control Division (CCD) to add or remove a cannabis establishment activity by submitting amended applications and any required additional fees.

How to Apply for a Vertically Integrated Cannabis Establishment License in New Mexico

Applications for the vertically integrated cannabis establishment license are not yet open in New Mexico. However, the licensing agency, the Cannabis Control Division, is expected to begin accepting applications no later than January 01, 2022. Applications are expected to be submitted through the CCD online licensing portal. You will be required to create a new account on the portal to begin the application process. During the account creation process, applicants will provide their email addresses. The CCD will communicate with applicants through the email addresses on file. Applicants must be at least 21 years old to be eligible for vertically integrated cannabis establishment licenses.

Although the application window is not yet open, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the CCD licensing rules and regulations. While seeking to meet the requirements of the CCD, it is also essential to research the municipal ordinances applicable to cannabis establishments in the area where you propose to locate your cannabis establishment. Except where municipal codes contravene the provisions of the CRA, a cannabis establishment applicant is also required to adhere to any regulations or codes established by the municipal authorities where the applicant's business will be located. Local laws may restrict zoning, occupancy, licensing, fire safety, food safety, worker protections, and building codes.

A vertically integrated cannabis establishment license applicant must meet the requirements for each kind of cannabis activity within the scope of the license as stipulated in the New Mexico Cannabis Regulation Act.

Vertically integrated cannabis establishment license applicants must consent to national and statewide criminal history screening background checks. Statewide background checks will be conducted through the New Mexico Department of Public Safety (DPS). The applicant must submit to both background checks no later than 90 days before submitting the application. The screening is conducted in compliance with the Cannabis Regulation Act and the Criminal Offender Employment Act. The CCD requires background checks for the following persons:

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

The applicant will bear the costs associated with the national criminal history background check and the statewide criminal history background check. The CCD will consider the following offenses substantially relevant in determining an applicant's or individual's credentials, obligations, or responsibilities:

  • A felony conviction for embezzlement, deceit, or fraud;
  • A felony conviction for hiring, employing, or otherwise employing a person under the age of 18 to:
    • (a) prepare for sale, transport, or carry a controlled substance; or
    • (b) sell, give away, or offer for sale a controlled substance to any person
  • A felony offense for possession, use, manufacture, distribution, or dispensing, or possession with the intent to dispense, distribute, or manufacture a controlled substance.

Note that the submission of the vertically integrated cannabis establishment license application does not guarantee approval. An applicant may not begin handling cannabis products until the CCD approves the application.

Following the submission of an application, the CCD may verify the information provided in the application and accompanying documentation by:

  • Conducting on-site visit
  • Contacting the applicant by telephone, mail, or email
  • Requiring a face-to-face meeting and requesting additional identification materials if proof of identity is not clear
  • Requesting additional information as the CCD consider necessary

If the CCD finds that an applicant's application for licensure is missing critical information or documents, the Division will notify the applicant through email of the missing information or documents. If the applicant fails to produce the required information or papers within 90 days after being notified of the defect, the application is considered incomplete, and the CCD denies the license in line with the Uniform Licensing Act. The applicant must resume the application procedure by submitting a new application. All licensing fees are non-refundable and must be paid in full upon submission of your application.

The CCD may issue a provisional license letter upon written request by the applicant, subject to the applicant obtaining documents that are either pending approval or are required from other state agencies or local governments in order for the application to be considered complete.

The provisional license letter will include all remaining application requirements and expire six months after the applicant receives it. Upon an applicant's written request, the Division may extend a provisional license letter for an additional six months. The letter will state that final approval or rejection of a license is contingent upon the applicant providing all required documents or information. Note that a provisional license does not authorize the applicant to begin operating the cannabis business.

Applicants may withdraw their applications at any time prior to the CCD issuing or declining to grant a license. Application withdrawal requests must be made to the Division in writing, dated, and signed by the applicant. Per the CCD rules, the withdrawal of an application will not stop the Division from instituting or continuing a proceeding against an applicant for the denial of a license on any ground provided by law, or to enter an order denying the license on any such ground. In the event of a withdrawn application, the CCD will not refund the application fee to the applicant.

How Much Does a Vertically Integrated Cannabis Establishment License Cost in New Mexico?

A vertically integrated cannabis establishment license costs $7,500. If a vertically integrated cannabis establishment applicant does not intend to conduct all cannabis establishment activities in a single location, each subsequent site will require an additional premises charge. The CCD charges a $1,000 annual fee for each additional licensed premises. The license is valid for one year and will be renewed at the same cost as the initial licensing fee. Per NMAC 16.8.11.12, a vertically integrated cannabis establishment license fee must not exceed $125,000.

The CCD also charges an annual per plant producer fee for establishments with up to 8,000 plants. The Division charges $10 per plant for each mature commercial cannabis plant and $5 per plant for each mature medical cannabis plant.

Can Vertically Integrated Cannabis Establishment Licensees Hold Other Cannabis Licenses in New Mexico?

The vertically integrated cannabis establishment license permits the licensee to conduct the cannabis activities authorized to couriers, retailers, producers, and manufacturers in the state. Although the New Mexico Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA) does not include any specific restrictions on the types of licenses that vertically integrated cannabis establishment licensees may hold, it makes provisions for such licensees to obtain approval authorizing both medical cannabis activity and recreational cannabis activity in the state.

New Mexico Vertically Integrated Cannabis Establishment License
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