New Mexico eyes higher plant limit for licensed pot growers

State

John Mondragon shops at the Minerva medical dispensary on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico regulatory agency hopes to avoid a possible shortage by raising the number of marijuana plants that licensed producers could produce.

The Cannabis Control Division of the state Regulation and Licensing Department last week raised the previously planned per-grower limit of 4,500 plants to 8,000, and producers also would be able to apply for incremental increases of 500 with a total cap of 10,000, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

The change responds to concerns that the 4,500-plant limit would lead to a supply shortage, especially among patients in the state’s medical marijuana program.

New Mexico’s legalization of possession and growth of small amounts of recreational marijuana took effect June 29, and the legal market for recreational marijuana is expected to launch in early 2022.

The department has scheduled an Aug. 6 hearing on the program’s revised draft rules.

The department has until Sept. 1 to finalize the rules for producers. Draft rules for manufacturing, testing and selling cannabis products have yet to be released.

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