History of CBD and Cannabis In – New Mexico
Marijuana laws are changing rapidly throughout the country. A few years ago, medical marijuana was illegal in most every place; today, it has been legalized in 33 states (and Washington, D.C.) while recreational marijuana has been legalized in another 11 states and D.C.
Some states moved quickly in this area, while others have been slower. New Mexico is a state which was close to the forefront of the pack when it comes to medical marijuana and recently enacted decriminalization. However, it has yet to legalize recreational marijuana. Here’s an overview of cannabis and CBD laws in New Mexico.
Medical Marijuana in New Mexico
As noted above, New Mexico was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana. This occurred in 2007, when the state’s Governor, Bill Richardson, signed SB523 into law. Specifically, the law allowed for marijuana to be used for certain painful or intractable diseases, including AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, multiple sclerosis and more.
In order to get medical cannabis in New Mexico, individuals must apply to be accepted into the program. Furthermore, there are applications for caregivers to apply, meaning specific individuals who would be responsible for assisting others in using and purchasing medical marijuana.
Like other states, New Mexico’s Department of Health can add qualifying conditions. In June 2019, the state added opioid use disorder, Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism and three neurological disorders.
Decriminalization in New Mexico
2010 and 2014 saw the election of Governor Susana Martinez, a Republican who did not favor further liberalization of marijuana laws, or even the enactment of the state’s medical marijuana program. As such, further liberalization was put on hold until the 2018 election of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Within a few months of taking office, New Mexico decriminalized marijuana. Specifically, the bill eliminated criminal penalties and reduced civil penalties to a mere $50 fine for the first time possession of less than an ounce of marijuana or drug paraphernalia. Previously, the penalty was a possible 15 day jail sentence.
Legalization in New Mexico
Legalization efforts have recently come further than they ever had before, but they have yet to cross the finish line.
A hotly contested bill, HB 356, passed the New Mexico House of Representatives by a 36-34 vote. That bill would legalize the sale of recreational marijuana at state-run and private retail stores. However, the bill has yet to come up for a vote in the Senate. As a result, the Governor formed a bipartisan marijuana legalization task force to determine the way to move towards a compromise.
CBD in New Mexico
CBD is fully legal in New Mexico and commercially available, as long as the CBD is produced from industrial hemp. New Mexico began to pass laws and regulations to encourage hemp production in 2017. In May 2019, the state passed a law which created a regulatory and licensing system for CBD, creating a legal and regulatory framework by which CBD could be sold in the state.