How to open a cannabis dispensary in New Mexico

How to open a cannabis dispensary in New Mexico

You need a New Mexico dispensary license to open a cannabis dispensary in the state. Opening a dispensary in New Mexico is not a dream anymore.  Now anyone that qualifies can open an adult use cannabis dispensary in New Mexico.

The process requires application from the Cannabis Control Division (CCD) within the state.  The CCD created an online portal where you can upload the required Social Equity plan and check the boxes required for demonstrating additional regulatory compliance with the rules and statutes governing licensed cannabis sales to adults in New Mexico. 

Opening a Cannabis Dispensary in New Mexico

With the revenue generated by cannabis dispensaries in the billions of dollars and rising, these developments present a very lucrative opportunity. However, opening and running a dispensary is a challenging business venture:

  • Opening a dispensary requires a lot of considerations, compliance with numerous regulations and a significant amount of capital.
  • Costs to open your doors could run from $500,000 upwards of millions depending on real estate costs and the size of the operation.
  • Many cannabis dispensaries are selling millions of dollars of product a month
  • Competition for new dispensaries tends to be fierce.

It’s important to mention that the first dispensaries that will sell recreational cannabis will be existing medical marijuana dispensaries, and although the application window isn’t open just yet, it is generally a good idea to be prepared ahead of time for the application process.

In addition to the application process, dispensaries must obtain other licenses that may be required by their local municipality in order to operate their licensed premises.

These can include zoning and land use permits, health department certificates, and more struggles that cannabis establishments face.

Having a legal professional on your side will help ensure you are compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

Finally, you should also be aware of the restrictions placed on recreational sales and even medical cannabis sales.

In some states, there are limits on the amount and types of cannabis that can be sold to customers, as well as where it can be purchased and consumed.

What are the fees for NM Cannabis Dispensaries

Application fees are reasonable in New Mexico and so are the license fee charged by the regulators.  Here are the fees for cannabis retailers legally selling cannabis products.

Cannabis Retailer License:
  • $2,500.00 annual license fee
  • $1,000.00 annual fee for each licensed premises

Timeframe for the licensing process

The Cannabis Control Division is going to start accepting and processing New Mexico Cannabis license applications in accordance with the following schedule:

  • September 1, 2021: Cannabis producers; cannabis producers micro-businesses and any other person properly licensed and in good standing as a licensed cannabis producer pursuant to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act.
  • January, 2022: All other licenses.

The Cannabis Control Division (CCC) developed a plan to encourage racial, ethnic, gender and geographic diversity among licensees. The CCD mandated that ALL cannabis licenses must have a social equity plan as part of their license.

Obtain a New Mexico Cannabis License

You can check out the details on how to obtain a license in New Mexico adult use cannabis license here. Obtaining a cannabis license can be incredibly difficult and costly. Further, there usually are strict requirements for prospective dispensary owners.

Apart from direct cannabis knowledge, your team must be knowledgeable in a wide range of topics. This is because multiple topics are essential to running a cannabis company, and any information gaps can jeopardize long-term success.How to get a Cannabis Business License in New Mexico

Also, your team should prepare various business plans, which should include:

  • Financial Plan
  • Manufacturing Plan
  • Inventory management Plan
  • Security Plan
  • Recordkeeping Plan
  • Community Benefits Plan
  • cannabis plants count limits

A revenue forecast is conducted by estimating how much product you think you will sell production costs, retail price and complementary costs (payroll, rent, transport, etc.). You may also include a break-even analysis. This helps an investor determine the estimated timeline until profitability.

  • New Mexico-specific Requirements – You may include details of covering your security systems, secure product transport, product tracking, waste plans and other state requirements. The NM regulations have treated applicants very generously.
  • Investor Proposal – Involves how you will value your shares if you present your plan to investors. Consult with a CPA to ensure you are compliant with state and federal regulations

Conclusion on new mexico recreational dispensary

With the right motivation and access to necessary resources, our office can help you successfully start a profitable cannabis dispensary in New Mexico. Contact our offices today so that we can help you get your cannabis business licenses in order like we have done before for clients in New Mexico.

Given the licensure steps, finding a suitable location and developing your storefront to meet the state requirements, it may take well over a year from application to selling.

Key Tip: the cannabis industry is heavily regulated and getting help from industry, and business experts is recommendable.



Licensed to practice since 2008, Thomas Howard has represented numerous financial institutions in litigation to enforce their security interests.
Homegrown Cannabis Co's Cannabis Seeds


Licensed to practice since 2008, Thomas Howard has represented numerous financial institutions in litigation to enforce their security interests.

Table of Contents

Related Posts

Want to win a license?

Here’s where you can learn how we’ve won before and will again.

Talk with a Cannabis Industry Lawyer

Learn your next steps in your cannabis business.

Want to learn how to win?

We’ve won licenses in competitive limited markets, and open market states. We’ll share how we did it if you complete the form. 

If you’re already operating a company – just call us. You can see the button on the lower right – works even on desktop.