Recreational marijuana becomes legal Tuesday in New Mexico; Retail sales begin April 2022

Las Cruces News

An activist smokes marijuana during the annual NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally in support of the legalization of marijuana for recreational and medical use on May 1, 2021 in New York City. – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation legalizing recreational marijuana on March 31, 2021, with a large chunk of tax revenues from sales set to go to minority communities. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Starting Tuesday, recreational cannabis will be legal for possession and use for people 21 and over in New Mexico.

Criminal penalties for possession of marijuana will also be abolished in New Mexico as well as Connecticut, and Virginia.

However, there’s still quite some time before the production and licensed selling of cannabis become legal for those in New Mexico. Licenses to sell cannabis are not expected to be issued until April 1, 2022.

NORML, which advocates for the reformation of marijuana laws, said this week marks another critical mile-marker on the road to ending marijuana prohibition in the United States.

“By the end of this week, Connecticut, New Mexico, and Virginia will all have abolished criminal penalties for marijuana possession,” Erik Altieri, NORML’s executive director, wrote in a new news release issued Monday. “That means that by week’s end, 14.3 million more Americans will live in a jurisdiction where the adult use of marijuana is legal. In all, 145 million Americans — or just shy of half of the U.S. population — now reside in reformed states.”

The Santa Fe New Mexican provided some answers to questions New Mexicans might have about what they can and cannot do under the law that takes effect June 29.

This includes how much recreational cannabis can be bought or possessed. Those 21 and older can possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana or 16 ounces of extract, or up to 800 milligrams of edible cannabis, one at a time.

Although recreational cannabis will be legalized across the state line, it is still illegal in Texas.

“Marijuana is illegal by federal law, regardless if a state decriminalizes it. Marijuana-related incidents are investigated by the FBI as resources allow,” Frank Fisher, an FBI spokesman, told the New Mexican.

For more information about the proposed rules, you can visit the state Regulation and Licensing Department’s Cannabis Control Division at

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