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First Day Cannabis Sales Soar In New Mexico

Customers speak with employees at the R. Greenleaf Cannabis Dispensary in Santa Fe.
Kevin Meerschaert
Customers speak with employees at the R. Greenleaf Cannabis Dispensary in Santa Fe.

The economics of legalized recreational cannabis in New Mexico is off to a strong start.

According to state numbers there were almost $1.9 million in adult recreational use cannabis sales in New Mexico on Friday.

At the R. Greenleaf dispensary on West Cordova Street in Santa Fe a DJ was playing music while a food truck was handing out free breakfast burritos on the first day of recreational sales.

   About 250 retailers across the state were ready to serve their customers, nearly all were already dispensing medical marijuana.

Greenleaf Clinic Director Karen Gonzalez says they opened three hours earlier than normal and had a line of customers waiting at 7 am.

She says they have been open in Santa Fe since August but haven’t seen a lot of traffic in the dispensary. She hopes the new law will change things.

“We’ll definitely hire more people. We’re just waiting until after the storm, so we’re not bringing them in during all the chaos,” she said. “We want to bring them in when we are starting to get a steady flow and they get comfortable learning all the products and the pricing.”       

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham visited a cannabis store in Albuquerque Friday morning to celebrate the launch.

She says it’s a big opportunity for New Mexico.

“With the dedicated work of legislators and advocates, we have crafted a well-regulated industry that is creating jobs, spurring economic activity, and generating revenue for state and local governments,” she said.  “We are a state focused on growing an economy that attracts and retains young people – and what could be more exciting than a new industry that presents so many unique opportunities,”

New Mexico’s regulations were crafted to prioritize reducing barriers to entrepreneurship, establishing micro-business licenses. 

Over half of newly licensed producers across the state are considered micro-businesses, with an easier licensing process and lower start-up costs enabling more entrepreneurs to get started in the industry.

The state has licensed nearly 100 minority-owned cannabis businesses and nearly 100 women-owned cannabis businesses across New Mexico.