Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal
Expect long queues. Or maybe not.
Expect the stigma surrounding cannabis to slowly fade.
And remember, it’s good for the state economy.
These are some of the opinions of New Mexicans on the start of recreational marijuana sales, starting Friday. New Mexico joins more than a dozen other states that have legalized cannabis for recreational use.
It’s an industry expected to bring in $300 million in first-year sales, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said Thursday.
“I was just thinking of going to one of our local dispensaries here – and if they haven’t run out – get some (cannabis), and take it home and enjoy it at the end of the day,” Joshua said. . Long, a University of New Mexico student majoring in political science and psychology, about his plans for the first day.
Long, 21, said he expects short-term shortages as customers flock to dispensaries on opening day and the days following.
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But Nicholas Havens, 20, a patient in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program, said he thinks dispensaries will be well equipped to deliver the flood of customers he expects.
“I know they’re stocking up pretty well, at least at medical facilities,” Havens said. “I feel like leisure is probably going to stock up even more because I feel like the demand is going to be even greater. … If they don’t, (it) would honestly surprise me.
Recreational sales are for adults 21 and older, while residents under 21 may qualify for medical marijuana.
Eddie Sanchez, 27, is also worried about running out of supplies.
“I think (Friday is going to) be crazy,” he said. “I think they’ll probably sell out.”
Breaking the Stigma
Some say the legalization of recreational cannabis on June 29, 2021 and sales starting Friday will slowly help break the stigma of cannabis use.
Imani Crawford, a 21-year-old psychology student at UNM, said New Mexico’s marijuana sales are “a sign that things are changing.” Crawford used cannabis once, she said, but plans to buy cannabis in the future now that it’s legal to use in New Mexico.
“I feel like older people are going to see their peers using it and realizing, for example, that it’s not as important as they claim. All their myths are going to be crushed,” a- she declared.
Inusah Mohammed, a graduate student at UNM, said people tend to equate marijuana with smoking. But this is not the case.
“Cannabis is a lot of things,” said 32-year-old Mohammed. “It can be used for menstrual cramps (and) for many medicinal purposes. …I feel like a lot of people have been marginalized – people who (have) believed in cannabis and whatever for some time. I think it’s time for all of us to be free and to come out freely.
Jesse Bullock, 37, recently returned from Florida to New Mexico with his wife, who has family here. He said the start of adult sales “removes a lot of the stigma for a lot of people.”
“Hopefully it opens up a new industry and a bit more money and income for some people, without potentially hurting other industries or businesses,” Bullock said.
Good for the economy
Many agree that cannabis will be good for New Mexico’s economy in the future.
Havens said he expects restaurants, convenience stores and other businesses to reap the benefits of adult-use sales.
“It’s going to bring a lot of business to everyone all over town,” he said. “Everybody’s gonna have, like, the snack foods.”
In the long run, cannabis can play a big role in New Mexico’s history, said Andrew Seeger, a 36-year-old medical patient and cannabis consultant based in Santa Fe.
“We’re not going to deliver on all of our promises to the cannabis market right away here in New Mexico,” Seeger said. “It will take time, but the tax revenue will be quite significant. It is a good that rivals alcohol in some regions.
Sanchez said he would like some of the money the state makes from recreational cannabis sales to be used to fix infrastructure.
“We can fix roads, get bridges built,” Sanchez said.