Discover comprehensive insights into the New Mexico cannabis expungement process through these detailed and informative Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
How did New Mexico handle expungements for cannabis?
Following the legalization of recreational cannabis in 2021, the New Mexico legislature passed the New Mexico Cannabis Regulations Act and the Criminal Record Expungement Act, through which any marijuana-related offense that is no longer considered a crime—or would have been a lesser offense after the passage of NMCRA—may be automatically expunged two years after the date of your arrest or conviction.
If a conviction of possession of marijuana was attained in combination with another crime, only the marijuana-related arrest or conviction would be expunged.
All felonies? Only non-violent?
Expungement criteria and waiting time differ for felonies vs. misdemeanors. New Mexico specifies a mandatory waiting period, contingent on the offense category:
- Municipal ordinance violation: 2 years
- Most misdemeanors: 2 years
- Fourth-degree felony: 6 years
- First-degree felony or crimes against household members: 10 years
- Absence of additional convictions or pending criminal charges during this period.
Were there any crimes related to cannabis that disqualified someone from applying as a social equity applicant?
The state of New Mexico does stipulate that ownership of a license in general, requires the passage of an annual background check, for which there are no specified disqualifications if a record has been expunged. No additional stipulations are placed for criminal-related convictions relating to the Social Equity program.
Status of Current Social Equity Program:
No designated social equity program however, they designed their program in a way that is accessible to individuals with all backgrounds.
In New Mexico, we do not place caps on the number of cannabis licenses issued, nor is there a lottery system. Instead, the Cannabis Control Division promotes participation in the cannabis industry by all people by offering a variety of license types with plant fees as low as $2.50 per mature plant for those growing only for qualified medical patients and $5,00 per mature plant for those growing for adult-use. The division especially encourages those in underserved communities disproportionately harmed by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition and agricultural producers from historically rural and economically disadvantaged communities, including tribal and acequia, to participate in these economic opportunities.
Additionally, the division offers microbusiness licenses that can be issued as an individual cannabis producer microbusiness license or an integrated cannabis microbusiness with multiple functions at a discounted rate depending on plant count and number of business functions. This model allows entrepreneurial opportunities for those looking to enter the business on a smaller scale.
How Can Point Seven Group Help?
The team of cannabis consultants and professionals at Point Seven Group have worked extensively in the U.S. and international cannabis markets and are familiar with the unique challenges of the cannabis industry. Follow us on social media to stay up to date with more cannabis industry updates!
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