Medical cannabis patients may continue to grow plants at home, and Kaltenbach says the at home growth of cannabis plants should not impact local dispensaries.
Adult-use cannabis will be legal in New Mexico at the end of June, but sales are not expected to begin until next Spring.
As marijuana can be packaged in many forms, Kaltenbach says there’s a need for child-proof packaging.
Possession and growth of cannabis will only be legal for individuals 21 and older. In order to reduce the risk of minors using cannabis, Kaltenbach states that New Mexico needs to focus on education about responsible adult use and growth of cannabis at home.
“I think there are multiple ways that it can benefit residents. For one, individuals who are low income can grow the plants at home, just like currently medical cannabis patients can. We obviously live in a very rural state, so folks that can’t drive hundreds of miles to get to the nearest retailer might choose to grow plants at home,” said Kaltenbach.
“I think having a plant lying around is not a huge danger, but what is more concerning is obviously edibles that are made to look like candy or desserts. We’ve learned from Colorado that we need child-proof packaging. We need to not allow products to mimic a candy,” said Kaltenbach.
Kaltenbach says New Mexico is placing restrictions on the number of plants that can be grown at home.
The state will also allow New Mexico residents to grow cannabis at home. Emily Kaltenbach of the Drug Policy Alliance says this is a key benefit of the law.
“I don’t think that there will be any economic impact on local dispensaries at all. I think a small number of people will choose to grow their own, but it’s not going to be an impact for the industry from an economic perspective,” said Kaltenbach.
After legalization efforts repeatedly faltered in the Democratic-led Legislature, Lujan Grisham called a special legislative session in March to tackle cannabis reforms and signed the law in April.
John Mondragon, 56, of Santa Fe, ordered a cannabis-infused lemonade that helps relieve his post-traumatic stress.
At Tuesday’s regulatory hearing, officials with the state’s newly founded Cannabis Control Division listened to stark warnings about overuse of agricultural water supplies and the dangers of overregulation.
“A lot of these regulations will only perpetuate the illicit market,” said Kristina Caffrey, chief legal officer for Ultra Health, a leading producer and distributor of medical cannabis. “Do they allow legal entrance to effectively compete?”