New Mexico Governor Grisham signed the Cannabis Regulation Act, legalizing adult-use cannabis on Monday, April 12, 2021. The law legalizes possession of up to two ounces of cannabis by those 21 and over, and requires the newly-created Cannabis Control Division to release regulations by January 1, 2022, with the goal of having legal sales in New Mexico by April 2022. Further, the law allows individuals to cultivate up to six mature and six immature plants, with a maximum of 12 mature plants per household. The odor of cannabis is no longer grounds for a police officer to perform a search. The legislation does not place a limit on the number of licenses that may be issued and prevents municipalities from banning the sale of cannabis. There will be a 12% excise tax in addition to New Mexico’s sales tax, which will increase one percent each year from 2025 to 2030, maxing out at 18%. Medicinal cannabis is exempt from the excise tax.
On the same day, Gov. Grisham also signed Senate Bill 2 into law, which will automatically expunge records of prior arrests and convictions for now-legal cannabis-related offenses, forbid the consideration of such cannabis-related records in determining employment eligibility for state positions, and release those currently incarcerated for now-legal activities within 30 days.