New Mexico's adult-use cannabis dispensaries sold more than $25 million worth of legal bud in October, a new record high for the state.
According to a new report from the state Cannabis Control Division, adult-use retailers sold $25.03 million worth of legal bud in 578,853 separate transactions last month. The state has broken a new adult-use record every single month since July, when sales topped out at nearly $23.5 million. Monthly purchases inched up over $24 million in August and September, and then shot up by another $800,000 last month. All told, the state has moved over $161 million worth of adult-use weed since sales began this April.
Several individual cities also clocked record-breaking sales last month. Albuquerque, which generally accounts for over a third of the state's total pot sales, sold a record $8.1 million worth of recreational bud. A healthy percentage of this boost likely came from thousands of tourists who visited the city’s annual Balloon Fiesta last month. Pot tourists from Texas also helped tiny border cities like Sunland Park and Hobbs set new monthly adult-use records of around $1.5 million apiece.
But although recreational retailers are celebrating a big win, plunging medical sales kept October's total weed haul from setting a new combined monthly record. Medical dispensaries only sold $14.7 million worth of medicine in under 300,000 transactions last month, the lowest total recorded this year. October's combined medical and recreational total only amounted to $39.75 million, dropping below $40 million for the first time since June.
While recreational sales are continuing on a four-month record-breaking streak, medical dispensaries have been reporting record lows every month. Medical sales first began to decline in June, dropping to $16.6 million from May's $17.5 million high. Monthly totals ticked up slightly in July, but dipped again in August, plunged to $15.4 million in September, and fell by another $700,000 last month.
As of this September, only 123,990 patients were enrolled in the state's medical marijuana program, nearly 500 fewer than were enrolled last year. Insiders believe that the trend of growing recreational sales and shrinking medical profits indicates that more and more patients are choosing to buy their medicine from adult-use shops rather than medical dispensaries. This very same trend has been observed in pretty much every US medical marijuana state that went on to legalize recreational sales.
“We knew that the number of enrolled medical patients was going to contract, as it has in every other medical state that has shifted to adult use,” said Ben Lewinger, the executive director of the New Mexico Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, to the Albuquerque Journal. “What’s important is that we continue to invest in the medical program by continuing to add more qualifying conditions so that more people can receive cannabis treatment, without paying taxes on their medicine.”