On April 1st, the newest nation’s adult-use cannabis market opens in New Mexico! Yes, this happens to be on April Fool’s Day, but New Mexico setting to launch a $400 million adult-use marijuana market is no joke! The Director of the cannabis Control Division of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department states, “state officials have already approved 225 adult-use licenses, including some integrated licenses for businesses that produce, manufacture, deliver, and sell cannabis products and that some of those licenses cover more than one site.”
Concerns do not lie in the lack of product for adult consumers, but rather the 132,000 medical patients enrolled in the states’ program, as mentioned by the senior state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, Emily Kaltenbach. To combat concerns, cannabis retailers are required by state law to reserve 20% of their THC products for the medical marijuana program.
It will be interesting to see how New Mexico will navigate the future growth they face within the cannabis industry. When considering the proximity of New Mexico’s neighbor Texas, the second most populated state in the nation following California, the state expects a tremendous rise in sales benefiting the surrounding small businesses.
New Mexico had over 38 million visitors before the covid-19 pandemic in 2019. Reports show that 40% to 42% of overall adult-use cannabis sales and consumption will be derived from out-of-state purchases. Considering a new Leafly report expressing that the cannabis industry provides nearly half a million jobs nationwide, residents are confident this will be a change in a positive direction.
By contrast, Duke Rodríguez, CEO and President of the largest cannabis company in New Mexico, raises a valid point. Highlighting the state law provisions that allow an unlimited amount of retail licenses but only a 20,000 plant capacity per grower. Rodriquez predicts, “We will probably need to pare back as many as 100 locations, and there will be a lot of small businesses that will be hurt very badly.”
Regarding this prediction, problems could induce a shortage in cannabis products after the first few months. Dispensary owners are prepared to retain and store products to prevent any upcoming shortages gradually. Still, it will be hard to gauge and quantify supply and demand in the developing months of the newly introduced adult-use market. Let us hope they have the proper means in medical marijuana packaging to store and keep their product fresh safely.
Outside of the state’s focus on small businesses and early on product shortage predictions, there are new findings on how the legalization of cannabis will affect the indigenous population in New Mexico. It is expected that some retailers will have a rough start in sales at the beginning of the adult-use market launch while awaiting final municipal approval and navigating local laws. Still, aside from these concerns, one thing is for sure, New Mexico’s new cannabis adult-use market’s future is bright!