New Mexico state regulators are calling the first month of adult-use cannabis commercial sales a success, after licensed retailers recorded more than $22.1 million.
That figure is in addition to $17.3 million in medical cannabis sales, bringing the combined total to nearly $39.5 million, according to the state’s Cannabis Control Division (CCD).
CCD officials hailed the first-month benchmark as an indication of a strong market and supply that has made the new industry a boon to New Mexico’s economy.
“New Mexicans showed up April 1 ready to support local businesses selling high-quality New Mexico products,” said CCD Director Kristen Thomson. “And they always come. Thanks to the hard work of dedicated people working in the industry, the supply has easily met consumer and patient demand. New Mexicans have reason to be proud of the launch of this new industry, which is already adding value to the state’s diverse economy.
The most populous city in the state with over 560,000 residents, Albuquerque saw the highest numbers with $8 million in adult-use cannabis sales and nearly $6.9 million in cannabis sales medical, or about 38% of the state’s overall sales figures for April.
Meanwhile, Las Cruces, with about 110,000 residents, saw nearly $2.1 million in adult usage and $1.6 million in medical sales for the month. Santa Fe (population 87,500) had over $1.8 million in adult usage and $1.6 million in medical sales.
In addition, communities near the Texas border also saw strong sales figures, Hobbs ($1.3 million for adults and $422,000 for medical) and Sunland Park ($1.2 million for adults and $225,000 for medical care) rounding out the top five cities by sales, according to CCD.
Overall, cannabis for adults accounted for 56.1% of sales in April.
Retail trade was boosted by five Fridays and five Saturdays for the month, as well as spikes associated with the state’s April 1 launch, which included about $2.7 million in combined sales, and the holiday from April 20, when dispensaries recorded $2.2 million in combined sales.
Duke Rodriguez, president and CEO of Ultra Health, New Mexico’s largest cannabis company with 38 dispensaries serving both medical and adult customers in the state, highlighted these factors and more.
“Keep in mind we were making $20 million a month in medical bills in 2021,” he said. Cannabis time. “So we are seeing a deterioration in medical care. Now, if it migrates to adulthood, we can’t tell yet. But the reality is that we are seeing a deterioration in medical sales compared to last year, and adult sales did not meet our target.
Rodriguez said New Mexico’s retail target should, in part, be based on comparisons with Montana, which launched its adult retail program on Jan. 1, 2022. During that month inaugural, licensed retailers in Montana sold more than $14.1 million in adult-use cannabis and $10.1 million in medical cannabis (nearly $24.3 million combined), according to the Department of Revenue of State.
Montana’s population of 1.07 million is about 51% of New Mexico’s population of 2.1 million, but its overall first-month sales were 61.5% of New Mexico’s. Mexico.
Besides being close to their adult launch dates, Montana and New Mexico are similar in some ways, Rodriguez said.
“Montana is the fourth largest landmass. [New Mexico is the] fifth largest landmass,” he said. “We are both very rural populations. But New Mexico has a huge advantage over Montana: #1, we’re twice their population. #2, we border the nation’s second most populous state, Texas.
While Rodriguez acknowledged that not all months are the same, he said fears have been raised based on those comparisons. While Montana recorded $25.4 million in combined adult and medical sales in April, he said he thinks New Mexico’s numbers should have been double that.
Although only a few days were recorded in the May sales books, Rodriguez said Ultra Health’s retail operations had seen very little change from April, other than the absence of the launch of the April 1 and the 4/20 push.
Overall, New Mexico retailers averaged $1.3 million a day in adult and medical sales throughout April.
The first tax payments on adult-use cannabis sales are due May 25, and data on state revenue from those sales will be available after that date, according to CCD.
Going forward, the division will publish sales figures on a monthly basis.