Photo by Sean Pavone/Getty

Learn | 02.16.2022

New Mexico’s Recreational Dispensaries To Open April 1, 2022

New Mexico adopted a "no limit" licensing motion, meaning anyone who follows state regulations could open a recreational dispensary. So far, there's a ton.

For months, New Mexico has seen countless pot shops around the state, but none of them have opened yet. While there’s still a handful of medical dispensaries, it looks like they’re about to get taken over by recreational retailers in a couple of months.

The Cannabis Control Division is currently looking through some applications to transform medical marijuana dispensaries, smoke shops, closed strip clubs, and dead storefronts into recreational cannabis shops. The division first started the application process in December 2021, but now, licensed recreational retailers can open operations as of April 1, 2022.

Victor Reyes, Deputy Superintendent of the Regulation & Licensing Department, spoke with KRQE about how the new licensing process does not have a specific limit to the number of permits given to prospective recreational shops. Reyes says anyone can apply as long as they can abide by the law in the Cannabis Regulation Act “and the rules and requirements set forth by the Division and the Department.”

This “no limit” motion means New Mexico isn’t turning down anyone who applies for a licensed storefront (if following the law), so it’s quite possible that dispensaries could be within spitting distance of each other.

Photo by Iarygin Andrii/Adobe Stock

KRQE sourced information via New Mexico’s website to track addresses in Albuquerque, where retail license applicants are expected to run operations. The outlet discovered more than 80 prospective pot shops in the city alone.

Some boundaries as to where dispensaries can operate are present. In Albuquerque, recreational storefronts cannot operate or sell weed within 300 feet of a school or daycare, and that “spitting distance” between each shop we mentioned earlier cannot be less than 600 feet.

However, in a press release, Albuquerque City Councilor Isaac Benton said that the accumulation or “concentration” of certain businesses like cannabis and alcohol is precisely what the city doesn’t want. In order to keep that from happening, Benton proposed to Council that licenses for specific locations will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Until recreational dispensaries in New Mexico open in April, Deputy Superintendent Reyes is making it clear that any and all questions regarding the licensing process will be answered through monthly webinars to ensure all applicants have equal opportunities in the cannabis industry.

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