4 min read

How to Open a Dispensary in New Mexico

July 29, 2022

Are you interested in becoming a licensed marijuana retailer and a dispensary owner in New Mexico? Then this news is for you! Scroll down and discover that New Mexico has recently joined the rest of the states in the USA who have decriminalized marijuana for recreational purposes. As for the legalization of medical cannabis it entered into force back in 2007.

Vertically integrated businesses are allowed to grow, process and sell cannabis products within the state. Local governments are not authorized to ban marijuana businesses entirely, but hold the right to limit the number of cannabis retailers and dispensary owners in New Mexico.

We will walk you through the queue of laws, regulatory compliances, license requirements set forth by the regulatory body NMRLD (New Mexico Regulations & Licensing Department). Here’s the list of topics you need to cover to open a dispensary in New Mexico.

  • The locations where you will open a dispensary;
  • The product types you are planning to sell at your dispensary;
  • Product packaging, labels and the display;
  • Solution for customer information security and storage;
  • Identifying whether as an entity you are allowed to open a dispensary and who can be employed at the dispensary;
  • Submission of business plan is also required.

Obtaining the proper commercial licenses

It should be mentioned once again that cities in New Mexico are not allowed to ban cannabis businesses, they may set limits on the density of such dispensaries.

According to what type of business you are going to enter there are corresponding application forms you will have to apply for. Most dispensaries are to fill out standard retail licenses, for this you will need:

  • A social and economic equity plan;
  • Proof of age for every person in direct control of the dispensary;
  • A criminal history check and authorisation by Department of Public Safety;
  • Premises diagram attestation;
  • Funds to cover the necessary application fees for opening a dispensary.

Before you get approval of your license you will need to get confirmation from your municipality that they approve of your business/dispensary location.

Find the right partners for your business

Cannabis business involves state applications, licenses, fees, and computer software that comply with tracking requirements and other regulations. Considering that dispensaries must follow strict state-mandated protocols for product tracking, security, record-keeping in New Mexico key importance is granted to the selection of the right partners.

You are on the right path if you’ve started to search for the best service providers in this regard. We are IndicaOnline – one of the all-in-one compliant solutions for dispensaries – POS software, Metrc reporting system, delivery and e-commerce platform. We ensure that your dispensary stays compliant with the Metrc system as well as our seamless automation handles it all – inventory updates, customer management processing, state reporting etc.

How much does it cost to open a dispensary in New Mexico?

As compared to some states in the US, Mississippi for e.g. opening a dispensary is relatively cheaper in New Mexico. The priority is granted to medical cannabis dispensaries if we take into consideration that the fees are reduced by half for medical marijuana dispensaries only. It should also be mentioned that Cannabis Control Divisions in New Mexico offer discounts on license fees to applicants from a community unequally impacted by cannabis prohibition.

You will need to cover the next license fees:

  • $10,000 application fee
  • $2,500 annual fee
  • $1,000 annual fee for each licensed premises
  • $1250 annual fee for medical cannabis dispensary/dispensaries only

Some regulations vary from location to location in New Mexico, so check local city regulations.

Cannabis Control Division in New Mexico is the organization where the dispensary applicants have to apply for and demonstrate the readiness they agree to various requirements. Now the organisation made it possible to fill out the New Mexico dispensary application on their CCD website in order to simplify the licensing process in the state.

How do I get a grower’s license in New Mexico?

If you are interested in making an effort to get a manufacturer’s license also in New Mexico you are allowed to grow and cultivate plants. A certain application form is required to be filled out for this purpose. As to the license fees you are to cover the following costs:

Application fees:

  • $10,000 for a producer/dispensary;
  • $1,000 for a manufacturer;
  • $2,200 for a testing lab.

License fees:

  • $30,000 for a producer/dispensary license in New Mexico in case you’re growing 150 plants or fewer;
  • Additional $10,000 for each more 50 plants(e.g., $40,000 in case you’re growing 151-200 plants).

Those who are going to buy, sell, grow and collect plants will also have to apply for the license at The New Mexico Regulation Plant Protection Act. 


Let’s all agree that you will need to have a strong will to face and tackle all the strict restrictions and challenges and pass through more detailed procedures on the road to cannabis industry. However, as the IndicaOnline team is always keen on supporting your business, we hope we could simplify the guideline through the key steps that you will have to take in this regard and make you feel comfortable and secure to run your dispensary business in New Mexico. 

Experience the priority of quality service and grow with us!