Cannabis law in New Mexico involves businesses licensed under the “Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act”. This act allows businesses to grow and distribute marijuana under specific regulations issued by the New Mexico Department of Health. Compliance is strictly enforced in this industry especially because marijuana is considered illegal under federal law which is found in 21 U.S.C. Section 801 et seq., the “Controlled Substances Act” (the “CSA”). Section 844(a)(1) of the CSA provides “Except as authorized by this subchapter, it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally…to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance.” The CSA classifies and regulates drugs from cough syrup to methamphetamine. Marijuana, along with heroin, LSD, and others, is included in Schedule 1 of the CSA which is considered to be a high potential for abuse and medical use. As a Schedule 1 substance, marijuana possession, distribution and use are felonies and carry a mandatory prison sentence. Under Section 846 of the CSA, “Any person who attempts or conspires to commit any offense defined in this subchapter shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the attempt or conspiracy.
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