Background on County Cannabis Regulations

As a result of the legalization of recreational cannabis in the State of New Mexico, in 2021 the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) of Santa Fe County passed Ordinance 2021-03 (Cannabis Ordinance), which established County-wide regulations for cultivation, retail sales, and production of commercial cannabis and cannabis products. Personal cannabis use/growing is not regulated by the County. Furthermore, the State of New Mexico's Regulation and Licensing Department imposes strict regulations for commercial cannabis businesses (including all growers) - find general information here and the specific laws and regulations here.

The Cannabis Ordinance included a provision to allow Community Districts within the County to consider different commercial cannabis regulations to reflect their community’s individual needs, goals, and character. Section 10.22.10 of the cannabis ordinance states, “Nothing in this Section shall preclude different cannabis regulations from being adopted for Community District Overlays.” Residents of the Community Districts have the opportunity to consider addressing commercial cannabis regulations through a process with Santa Fe County.

The Cannabis Ordinance identifies where cannabis uses are permitted for each zoning district in accordance with the County Use Matrix in the Sustainable Land Development Code (SLDC). Below is a table that identifies key cannabis uses with its corresponding SLDC zoning district as identified in the Cannabis Ordinance.

Cannabis testing/research laboratories Research and Development Services (scientific, medical, and technology)
Cannabis manufacturers Food, Textiles, and Related Products
A cannabis producer or cannabis producer microbusiness that cultivates cannabis plants indoors Commercial Greenhouse
A cannabis producer or cannabis producer microbusiness that cultivates cannabis plants outdoors Permitted Use in Agriculture Ranching and Rural zoning districts, and is a Conditional Use in Rural Fringe, Rural Residential, Residential Fringe and Traditional Community zoning districts.
Cannabis Retailer Store or Shop
Cannabis consumption that allow consumption by consumers Bars, taverns and nightclubs
Cannabis couriers Courier and messenger service facilities

Note: This table does not include all regulations. Refer to Cannabis Ordinance for specific definitions and additional regulations on Cannabis-related uses. 


Community District Overlays

There are 13 Community District Overlays (CDO) in Santa Fe County. A CDO is established via the BCC that is consistent with the Sustainable Growth Management Plan, an adopted Community Plan, and any applicable County Land Use Plans. The regulations, standards, and provisions of a CDO are specific to each overlay.

For each CDO, the following SLDC Use Table Labels apply: 
P- Permitted Use: The letter “P” indicates that the listed use is permitted by right within the zoning district. Permitted uses are subject to all other applicable standards of the SLDC and require submittal and approval of a permit for development.
C- Conditional Use: The letter “C” indicates that the listed use is permitted within the zoning district only after review and approval of a Conditional Use Permit in accordance with Chapter 4. Conditional Use Permits require public hearings in front of the Hearing Officer and Planning Commission.
X- Prohibited Use: The letter “X” indicates that the use is not permitted within the zoning district. 

Below are communities actively or previously in the Cannabis Regulations Survey Process. Click on a community to see its boundaries and existing cannabis-specific use table.

- Chimayo

- San Marcos


If you have any questions or comments about Santa Fe County’s Cannabis Regulations or the Cannabis Regulations Survey Process, please contact Nate Crail, Community Planner at: or 505-986-2452.