Jan 19, 2022
New Mexico Doubles Production Limits Ahead of Recreational Sales in April

The New Mexico Cannabis Control Division has issued an emergency rule, effective Jan. 13, doubling production limits at licensed cannabis facilities to ensure supply ahead of recreational sales beginning on April 1. The rule is effective until July.

In order to protect the supply and availability of medical product as consumers move from the illicit to the regulated market, the division will double the supply of allowable mature plants by raising plant count limits for producers. Originally, plant count limit levels were: level 1 with a maximum of 1,000 plants, level 2 with a maximum of 3,000 plants, level 3 with a maximum of 6,000 plants and level 4 with a maximum of 8,000 plants. The maximum plant count that any producer could grow after requesting additional increases was 10,000 plants.

The division’s emergency amendments will result in the following changes: level 1 with a maximum of 2,000 plants, level 2 with a maximum of 6,000 plants, level 3 with a maximum of 12,000 plants and level 4 with a maximum of 16,000 plants. The maximum plant count any producer may grow is now 20,000 plants. The division will also implement a 50% reduction in per plant fees changing the per plant fee to $5 for adultuse licensees and $2.50 for exclusively medical licensees.

With just over 10 weeks until recreational sales begin, some growers say any additional plants put into production now would not be ready by April.

Duke Rodriguez, president and CEO of Ultra Health, welcomed the change but told the New Mexico Political Report that the change could have happened sooner.

The New Mexico Cannabis Chamber of Commerce (NMCCC) said the emergency rule does little for the medical cannabis community and smaller growers.

“Raising the plant count limit to 20,000 plants now, through emergency rules, undermines the work of legislators and advocates who worked to pass the Cannabis Regulations Act in 2021, and ignores how important sensible production limits are to launching an equitable cannabis industry that creates opportunities for homegrown New Mexico businesses to be successful,” said Ben Lewinger, NMCCC executive director. “Furthermore, raising the plant count limits now will do nothing to help with patient supply in April when we have our first adult use sale. Building the infrastructure to double plant count could take months to years for most operators, and plants put in the ground today won’t be ready in April.

“Increasing the plant count now will only help the very biggest and well-resourced producers – it won’t help medical cannabis patients and it won’t help new businesses trying to break into the industry.”

— Cannabis Product News