The Cannabis Control Division of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department on Monday increased the plant cap on licensed producers from 4,500 plants to 10,000, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports. The agency also increased the plant maximum for new cultivators to 8,000 as officials prepare for the rollout of legalized sales in the state.
New producers will also be able to apply for production increases of up to 10,000 plants.
Heather Brewer, a spokeswoman for the Cannabis Control Division, said the changes came following public feedback which helped the agency see “important ways that the draft rules could be changed in order to better support New Mexico businesses, entrepreneurs, and consumers who are excited to participate in this new industry.”
Regulators also relied on research from the Cannabis Public Policy Consulting group which found the state would need between 2,007 and 3,756 plants per producer during the first year of sales. All cannabis producers in the state will pay a $10-per-plant fee with large producers paying a $2,500 annual operation fee and microbusinesses paying either $500 or $1,000 annually depending on their plant counts.
Duke Rodriguez, president and CEO of New Mexico Top Organics-Ultra Health, the state’s largest medical cannabis company, told the New Mexican that, despite the plant increase, there will “absolutely” be a shortage when sales commence— sometime between January 1 and April 1. He called on regulators to adopt emergency rules “immediately which allows substantial production to have begun at least yesterday or earlier.”
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