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The “Growing” Market: Cannabis legalization in NM and how it applies to commercial real estate

Some big news in the commercial real estate industry the past month was the State of New Mexico legalized cannabis possession. After years of debate, New Mexico became the 17th state to legalize recreational cannabis for users 21 and over.

With the new law in effect, New Mexico now allows for possession of up to 2 ounces of cannabis – or equivalent amounts of cannabis extract – and personal production of no more than six mature and six immature marijuana plants per adult. The deadline for beginning commercial sales is not until April 2022, to give state officials time to craft rules that will govern the cannabis industry and begin issuing licenses for legal pot production and sales.

Key dates: September 1, 2021 – New state agency begins accepting and processing license applications for cannabis producers and microbusinesses. January, 2022 – State begins issuing cannabis server permits and processing all types of license applications AND Department of Public Safety must review criminal records for automatic expungement of cannabis possession-related convictions. April, 2022 – Retails sales of commercial cannabis begin.


Impact on commercial real estate

Landlords have been maneuvering the waters of the cannabis industry for several years now. Since the federal government has not yet legalized cannabis, there are some complexities around New Mexican landlords accepting lease payments, processing them and paying their mortgage payments.

New Mexico’s Commercial Association of Realtors New Mexico (CARNM) is planning to host a Continuing Education course later this year to explain the benefits and pitfalls of the State’s new legalization. I will report back once the State of New Mexico has crafted the rules that will govern the industry.


More trends

Read more about the latest trends in local commercial real estate here. Includes economic growth, employer “flexibility,” and availability of commercial real estate in the local market.

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