New Mexico doubles marijuana plant count ahead of adult-use sales

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(This story has been updated to reflect that the increased plant count is an emergency rule, not a change to state law.)

New Mexico marijuana companies now may grow double the amount of plants they were allowed previously after regulators filed an emergency rule to lift the limitation.

The move should help the industry meet the growing demand once adult-use cannabis sales start, which are slated for this spring, El Paso, Texas, TV station KVIA reported.

“Doubling the plant count for licensed producers makes sense to ensure that everyone can maximize the benefits of a thriving cannabis industry,” Kristen Thomson, the new director of the state’s marijuana regulatory agency, said in a news release.

The new ranges of mature cannabis plant-count limits cultivators may grow are:

  • Level 1: 401-2,000.
  • Level 2: 2,001-6,000.
  • Level 3: 6,001-12,000.
  • Level 4: 12,001-16,000.

With recreational sales in the state looming, the increased plant count helps to ensure that supplies remain consistent for the tens of thousands of New Mexicans who participate in the existing medical marijuana program.

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However, representatives of the state’s largest cannabis producer, Ultra Health told the Albuquerque Journal that the rule change likely wouldn’t significantly change the amount of marijuana that will be available by spring.

It can take four to six months to grow a plant, then cure and dry it for consumption.