NMDOH and NMRLD working jointly to ensure smooth transition of medical cannabis program
Santa Fe – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department (NMRLD) on Monday issued guidance regarding the upcoming license renewal process to all licensed non-profit producers (LNPPs) who are currently licensed under New Mexico’s medical cannabis program. The guidance was part of a letter sent out jointly by NMDOH Program Director Dominick Zurlo and NMRLD Superintendent Linda M. Trujillo (attached).
The Cannabis Regulation Act (CRA) – recently signed into law by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham – legalized adult-use cannabis in New Mexico and it transitions the statutory authority for licensing all medical cannabis establishments from NMDOH to NMRLD effective June 29, 2021.
“As we work to establish the adult-use cannabis regulatory system, ensuring the strength and integrity of the medical cannabis program will always been a priority,” said Superintendent Trujillo. “Our partnership with the Department of Health is fundamental to a safe and successful transition.”
Because of the transition of statutory authority to the newly created Cannabis Control Division (CCD) located within NMRLD, NMDOH is not requiring LNPPs to submit a license renewal packet this year as has been previously required. Instead, LNPPs need to submit a brief letter to NMDOH by June 1, 2021, indicating their intent to continue as a licensed producer once the program transfers to CCD.
“It makes the most sense to spare the Medical Cannabis Program’s licensed non-profit producers to not have to renew their non-profit renewal paperwork when in the weeks and months ahead, they have to prepare and submit their required administrative paperwork to be licensed to sell cannabis to the general public,” said Department of Health Medical Cannabis Director Dominick Zurlo.
The CRA provides that CCD will begin accepting and processing license applications for cannabis producers, cannabis producer microbusinesses and properly licensed medical cannabis producers no later than September 1, 2021. Further, the CRA provides that CCD shall begin issuing all other cannabis-related licenses no later than January 1, 2021.
Language in the CRA also provides that properly licensed cannabis establishments that are in good standing pursuant to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act as of June 29, 2021, can continue operating using their NMDOH-issued licenses until CCD begins issuing comparable licenses later this year. In the coming weeks, NMDOH and NMRLD will have additional information regarding the public, transparent rulemaking process to promulgate cannabis-related rules under the CRA.
Retail sales of adult-use cannabis in New Mexico are to begin no later than April 1, 2022. Anyone interested in getting updates regarding upcoming announcements, rulemaking notices and other important information regarding both adult-use cannabis and medical cannabis can sign up for email updates at the Cannabis Control Division website: https://ccd.rld.state.nm.us/.
The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department regulates more than 500,000 individuals and businesses in 35 industries, professions, and trades across the state. Our goal is to assure that New Mexicans receive quality services from qualified individuals and businesses while also ensuring a fair and prompt administrative process. Our priority is your protection.