Government work for a smooth transition of the medical cannabis program

by: Alyssa Bitsie

Posted: May 3, 2021 / 8:54 PM MDT
Updated: May 3, 2021 / 9:22 am MDT

(Photo by Getty Images)

SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and the New Mexico Department of Regulation and Licensing (NMRLD) have issued guidance on the upcoming license renewal process for all licensed nonprofit manufacturers currently licensed under New Mexico’s medical cannabis program.

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The Cannabis Regulatory Act, which legalized adult cannabis in New Mexico, was signed into law by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham back in April. The law transfers the legal authority to approve all medical cannabis operations from NMDOH to NMRLD with effect from June 29, 2021.

“As we work to establish the adult cannabis regulatory system, ensuring the strength and integrity of the medical cannabis program will always be a priority,” said Linda M. Trujillo, NMRLD superintendent, in a press release. “Our partnership with the Ministry of Health is fundamental to a safe and successful transition.”

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According to the press release, due to the transition of legal powers to the Cannabis Control Division (CCD) within the licensing division, NMDOH does not require licensed nonprofits to submit a license renewal package this year as was previously required. The press release states that licensed nonprofit producers must send a letter to NMDOH by June 1 of this year stating their intention to continue as a licensed producer once the program is transferred to CCD.

“It makes most sense to spare the licensed non-profit producers of the Medical Cannabis program from having to renew their non-profit renewal papers when they have to prepare and submit their required administrative documents in the coming weeks and months to get a license to sell cannabis to the general public, “said Dominick Zurlo, director of the medical department of health for cannabis, in the same press release.

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According to the press release, the CCD will accept and process license applications for cannabis producers, micro-business manufacturers and properly licensed medical cannabis producers no later than September 1, 2021. The press release also states that the Regulatory Act provides to start issuing all other cannabis licenses no later than January 1, 2022.

The press release stated that the Regulatory Act also provides that properly licensed cannabis establishments that have good reputations under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act of June 29, 2021 can continue to use their NMDOH-issued licenses until the division comparable licenses will begin issuing later this year.

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