Legal Weed Sales in New Mexico Top $1 Billion

The office of New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Tuesday that cannabis consumers “have purchased more than $678.4 million worth of adult-use cannabis products and $331.6 million in medical products since April 1, 2022,” and that, to date, “the state has recorded more than 21 million transactions with $75 million in cannabis excise taxes going to the state general fund and local communities.”

“This is a huge milestone for New Mexico’s cannabis industry,” Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Nearly two years after beginning sales, New Mexico is on the map as a premier hub for legal and safe cannabis and the thriving business community that comes with it.”

The $1 billion threshold represents a significant milestone for New Mexico’s legal weed industry, which opened for business in April of 2022. (The state officially legalized adult-use marijuana a year earlier, in 2021, when Lujan Grisham signed into law the Cannabis Regulation Act.)

Almost one year exactly, Lujan Grisham announced that the state had hit $300 million in adult-use pot sales.

“In just one year, hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity has been generated in communities across the state, the number of businesses continues to increase, and thousands of New Mexicans are employed by this new industry,” Lujan Grisham said at the time. “I’m excited to see what the future holds as we continue to develop an innovative and safe adult-use cannabis industry.”

In that announcement, the governor’s office said that monthly sales “have remained consistent throughout the last year, with March 2023 marking the highest adult-use sales at $32.3 million,” and that, as of March 2023, “more than $27 million in cannabis excise taxes has gone to the state general fund and to local communities.”

“To date, the state has recorded more than 10 million transactions. More data on sales and licenses can be found here,” the office said in a press release at the time.

In Tuesday’s announcement of the $1 billion milestone, the governor’s office said that “Albuquerque remains the top city in the state for cannabis sales with more than $202 million in adult-use products being sold since legalization,” while “Sunland Park, one of the many communities that has been positively impacted by cannabis tourism, recorded $57.4 million in adult-use sales.”

It isn’t a surprise that Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city, would boast the highest sales tallies. The city reportedly has more cannabis dispensaries than it does liquor stores.

Tuesday’s press release from the governor’s office indicated that smaller communities in New Mexico “are also reaping the benefits of the flourishing cannabis industry.”

“Municipalities like Las Vegas, Silver City, and Deming have each seen more than $5 million in adult-use sales since April 2022,” the press release said. “As of March 1, 2024, the state has issued 2,873 cannabis licenses across New Mexico, including 1,050 retailers, 878 manufacturers, and 459 micro producers.”

Lujan Grisham’s signing of the Cannabis Regulation Act in 2021 made New Mexico the 18th state to legalize adult-use marijuana.

“The legalization of adult-use cannabis paves the way for the creation of a new economic driver in our state with the promise of creating thousands of good paying jobs for years to come,” Lujan Grisham said at the time. “We are going to increase consumer safety by creating a bona fide industry. We’re going to start righting past wrongs of this country’s failed war on drugs. And we’re going to break new ground in an industry that may well transform New Mexico’s economic future for the better.”

Her office projected that “sales of adult-use recreational cannabis could amount to $318 million in the first year, creating over several years what could be more than 11,000 new jobs,” and pointed to preliminary estimates that suggested “the excise tax will raise at least $20 million for the general fund in the first full fiscal year, with significant growth in subsequent years.”

“As we look to rebound from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, entrepreneurs will benefit from this great opportunity to create lucrative new enterprises, the state and local governments will benefit from the added revenue and, importantly, workers will benefit from the chance to land new types of jobs and build careers,” the governor added then.

“This legislation is a major, major step forward for our state,” she continued. “Legalized adult-use cannabis is going to change the way we think about New Mexico for the better – our workforce, our economy, our future. We’re ready to break new ground. We’re ready to invest in ourselves and the limitless potential of New Mexicans. And we’re ready to get to work in making this industry a successful one.”

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