New Mexico Expands Plant Counts in Anticipation of Full Legalization Photo: Kyle Glenn/Unsplash
January 25, 2022

New Mexico implemented an emergency rule change for cannabis cultivators allowing them to double the maximum number of plants they can grow under state law from 10,000 to 20,000 as the state gears up for the April 1, 2022 commencement of adult use sales, according to the Albuquerque Journal. State Cannabis Control Division Director Kristen Thomson said the change was to make sure patients in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program would still have access to adequate supply when adult use sales start.

A representative of the state’s largest producer, whose firm had been lobbying for an increase in the number of plants allowed to growers, said the new rule would not increase supply for the April 1 deadline, noting it takes about five-and-a-half months from the time new crops are planted to generate finished product. He also told the Albuquerque Journal he would like to see no limit on the number of plants growers could produce, what he termed “a market-based approach.”

The Journal report also quoted the Executive Director of the New Mexico Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, who agreed plants put into production today would not be ready for the April deadline and opined it could take “months to years” to build out grower infrastructure sufficient to double the number of plants produced. He also noted that “increasing the plant count will only help the very biggest and well-resourced producers” and said the doubling of allowed plants “won’t help medical cannabis patients and it won’t help new businesses trying to break into the industry.”