Is Weed Legal in New Mexico?

For the people of the Land of Enchantment, I know you’re asking, is weed legal in New Mexico? What’s the actual truth behind its legalities? It could be a lot to take in, especially since many of the country’s states have changed up and amended several rules and regulations about it, but, we got you! 

We got, in this guide, the truth about whether New Mexico accepts weed or marijuana, and we’ll be more than happy to help you through it! 

Right before we dive deep into it, though, let’s scour through the state’s history with this magic plant! 

New Mexico’s Cannabis History 


We can’t just jump into what’s today without understanding the histories and information from yesterday. So, it’s equally imperative to learn about New Mexico and its history when it comes to cannabis. 

The First Prohibition 

1923 was the year when cannabis was first prohibited in the state. A prominent daily newspaper company in the state, The Santa Fe New Mexico, said that the bill had been passed without opposition, and that starting that point on, the state is banning everything from the sale, delivery, cultivation, importation, and even the consumption of the substance. 

Since then, this was what was observed in the state, regardless of the usage. 

The First Medical Cannabis Act 

Then, in 1978, Lynn Pierson, a cancer patient made efforts and backed up the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act or the CTRA. This was a bill that helped in allowing the usage of cannabis but only after the Food and Drug Administration researched and approved it. 

Thanks to Pierson’s efforts, it was signed into law, and from that time, about 250 cancer patients received THC or cannabis, thanks to the Lynn Pierson Therapeutic Research Program. 


Fast-forward to a few years ago, approximately in 2019, Governor Lujan Grisham signed Senate Bill (SB) 323 into law, decriminalizing marijuana or cannabis. As per this bill, individuals can possess up to ½ ounce or 14 grams of cannabis and receive a misdemeanor (petty one) offense. During that year, it was punishable by a $50-fine.

It remained illegal from then on. But on the brighter side, medical or medicinal cannabis took its positive turn – let’s talk more about that below! 

Is Weed Legal in New Mexico? The Truth

Is Weed Legal in New Mexico The Truth

The road to legalization is not a straight one – but, it isn’t as crooked as some others either! But is it really legal in the Land of Enchantment? What’s the actuality behind it as certain people say that it’s legal but only for medical purposes? 

We don’t want to confuse you, so, we separated the discussion by outlining medical and recreational cannabis side-by-side. 

Medical Cannabis in New Mexico 

The initiative back in 1978 was just the initial step to the acceptance of medical marijuana in the Land of Enchantment. The official legalization of the substance was back in 2007, when Governor Bill Richardson signed Senate Bill (SB) 523 or the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act into law. 

In case you were asking, this was the bill that allowed the use of medical cannabis that has a physician’s recommendation for curing or treating certain medical conditions, particularly: 

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS 
  • Cancer 
  • Epilepsy 
  • Glaucoma 
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV 
  • Multiple Sclerosis 

Then, in 2019, Senate Bill (SB) 406 has been signed into law by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. This was the first change to SB 523 and included the usage or consumption of cannabis in public schools, provide employment for patients, allow people to renew their medical cannabis card, and allow other medical cardholders from other states to use marijuana within the state. 

Furthermore, it also added other qualifying medical conditions that are within the scope of medical marijuana. 

Recreational Cannabis in Nex Mexico 

Recreational Cannabis in Nex Mexico

Then, finally, after 2 years from the expansion of medical cannabis in the state, recreational marijuana has finally been approved. 

Governor Lujan Grisham signed into law the House Bill (HB) 2 or the Cannabis Regulation Act. This was the bill that a lot of people have been waiting for after the medical expansion. 

Like in any other state, New Mexico had its own set of rules and regulations, which was then set during the time of its inauguration. The legalization of cannabis in the Land of Enhancement entailed: 

  • Only adults aged 21 years old and above can have cannabis. 
  • Home possession will be no limit, but publicly or outside the house will have a 2-ounce limit. 
  • Six (6) mature and six (6) immature plants will be allowed per residence or household. 
  • Private consumptions or within businesses will be allowed under the discretion of the owner of the business. 
  • Arrests or convictions that have been made legal because of this bill will automatically be expunged. 

These were the conditions under the new House Bill, and people can’t be more than excited! 

New Mexico Fees and Penalties For Cannabis 

New Mexico Fees and Penalties For Cannabis

Since there are regulations, you should have expected offenses, fees, and penalties should people within the state follow to observe what was in the conditions set by the bill. So, here are the fees and penalties involved: 

Possession or Carrying of Cannabis 

This will only apply on possessing or carrying cannabis outside of your home or private residence: 

Offense or Amount of Cannabis PenaltyImprisonmentMaximum Fine 
Up to 2 ozNo PenaltyNo ImprisonmentNo Fine 
2 oz up to 8 ozMisdemeanor1 year$1,000
8 oz or moreFelony1 and ½ years$5,000

Distribution of Cannabis 

The sale or distribution of cannabis has its own penalty or fine table that it follows. Distribution refers to the exchange of goods. 

Offense or Amount of Cannabis PenaltyImprisonmentMaximum Fine 
First offense for 100 lbs or less Felony1 and ½ years$5,000
Second offense for 100 lbs or lessFelony3 years$5,000
First offense for 100 lbs or moreFelony3 years$5,000
Second offense for 100 lbs or more Felony9 years$10,000
First offense of distributing to a minorFelony3 years$5,000
Second offense of distributing to a minor Felony9 years$10,000
Within a drug-free school zoneFelony18 years$15,000

NOTE: The exchange of small amount of marijuana is treated as possession. 


Last but most definitely not least would be the cultivation of the cannabis plant within the household. We know that people are allowed to grow up to six (6) mature and six (6) immature plants – totaling 12 within a residence, but what if we go over? 

Offense or Amount of Cannabis PenaltyImprisonmentMaximum Fine 
Up to six (6) mature plantsNo PenaltyNo Imprisonment $ 0
More than 6 plants (for the first offense)Felony9 years$10,000
More than 6 plants (for the second offense)Felony18 years$15,000
Within a drug-free school zoneFelony18 years$15,000

These are the respective fines, offenses, and penalties that you can be subject to if caught not within the primary standards or rules that the House Bill was set for. 

Do know that just because it was decriminalized, doesn’t mean that it’s already put up and available like how alcohol and tobacco is – it’s still considered by the federal law as a drug substance, and therefore, how it’s seen cannot be changed. 


Have more questions about New Mexico’s legalization of marijuana? We did thorough research and actually found a few of these most frequently asked questions so you don’t have to go someplace else! 

Can You Smoke Weed in Public in New Mexico? 

Yes and no – let me explain. 

Just as with other states, New Mexico don’t allow its residents to smoke cannabis just anywhere. Smoking publicly is still considered an offense, however, if the location is a designated smoking or consumption area, then it is allowed. 

Smoking or consuming it in places that it isn’t allowed can result in a $50 fine. 

Do You Need a Weed Card in New Mexico? 

No, you don’t need a weed card in New Mexico to purchase, possess, or consume cannabis. When you purchase, though, you’d have to pay tax, unlike New Mexican medical marijuana cardholders, they can purchase cannabis products tax-free. 

Is Recreational Weed Legal in Mexico? 

Yes, recreational marijuana is legal in Mexico and it has been since June 2021. So, today, people can buy, consume, deliver, and even cultivate cannabis in their homes. Note that this is for Mexico and not New Mexico, which is the US state. 

Final Thoughts 

Do you now know the answer to the question, is weed legal in New Mexico? We do hope that this article was enough to clarify all the hearsay and inaccurate claims that people have when it comes to owning, carrying, and consuming marijuana in the state of New Mexico. 

Before you travel there, though, be sure to check out the laws just for you to be on the safer side! 

Christopher Andrews
I am Christopher Andrew, the owner of 420 Expert Adviser. I have been in cannabis cultivation for more than ten years, and I'm sharing my experience with you guys using this blog!

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