New Mexico begins a new era of cannabis on April 1, 2022.
The Land of Enchantment is a pioneer in medical cannabis going back to 2010 when medical sales began. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, there are over 112,000 medical patients or 5.35% of the total population – one of the largest in the US. In 2020, New Mexico saw $204M in total sales; not too shabby in a state with just over two million residents.
In April of 2021, Governor and legal marijuana proponent Michelle Grisham signed the Cannabis Regulation Act into law, creating one of the most liberal and free market cannabis states in the US. The Cannabis Control division started accepting applications in August for cultivation and microbusiness. Applications for retail and manufacturing began in December.
There are no limits on the number of licenses that can be approved, and regulators have 90 days to approve or reject an application. Retail sales will begin no later than April 1, 2022. A turnaround time of less than a year from passage of the bill to the beginning of sales is a welcome rarity in the world of new cannabis markets.
New Mexico’s cannabis program also has a commitment to social equity written into law and supported with business loans up to $250,000 for microbusiness license holders affected by the War on Drugs.
First year adult-use sales are estimated to be $150 million climbing to $450 million by 2027. Those high growth numbers have already attracted outside interest. Colorado-based multi-state operator (MSO) Schwazze recently purchased Green Leaf, New Mexico’s second largest dispensary operator with 10 dispensaries and a 70,000 sq. ft. cultivation facility
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