New Mexico's adult-use industry sold more than $22 million worth of legal weed during its first month of adult-use sales, according to new data from the state Cannabis Control Division (CCD).
On April 1, the first day of legal recreational sales, around 29,000 people eagerly snatched up around $1.9 million worth of quality bud. And although daily sales have yet to break this first-day total, demand has remained strong. By the end of the month, adult-use shops made $22.1 million in sales. The state's existing medical marijuana market was also able to keep up with demand, making around $18 million in additional sales last month.
The lion's share of sales occurred in the state's biggest cities. Albuquerque took the lead with over $8 million in adult-use and $6.8 million in medical marijuana sales. Las Cruces, the second-largest city in the Land of Enchantment, came in second place with around $2 million in adult-use sales, and Santa Fe made third place with about $1.8 million in recreational sales.
Hobbs and Sunland Park, two smaller cities near the Texas border, rounded out the top five with $1.3 million and $1.2 million in sales, respectively. These high totals should come as no surprise given that New Mexico shares 500 miles of border with Texas, the largest prohibition state in the US. Industry insiders have estimated that more than 40% of all of New Mexico's adult-use sales will be made to pot tourists from Texas and other states.
US Customs and Border Police recently asserted that they still have the federal authority to arrest anyone for weed, regardless of state law. Authorities noted that they will keep a watchful eye out for anyone that is crossing interstate borders with pot, but the sales figures clearly indicate that these threats haven't deterred Texans from buying New Mexico bud.
The CCD has predicted that the state's adult-use industry will “generate $300 million annually in sales, create 11,000 jobs and bring in $50 million in state revenue in the first year alone,” according to KRQE. In order to reach that goal, adult-use shops will need to move around $25 million worth of bud every month. April's total is $3 million short of that mark, but as the market matures and more dispensaries open their doors, that monthly total is expected to grow considerably.
Adult-use retailers will need to cough up their first monthly cannabis tax payments on May 25. For the first year of sales, adult-use sales are subject to a 12% state tax plus an additional local tax of 5% to 9%. Once the first round of payments roll in, the CCD will release a report detailing their total monthly take. And now that the industry is up and running, CCD officials will begin releasing monthly sales figures, rather than keeping track of daily sales.
“New Mexicans showed up on April 1 ready to support local businesses selling high-quality New Mexico products [and] they’re still coming,” said CCD director Kristen Thomson in a statement reported by the Albuquerque Journal. “Thanks to hard work by the dedicated people working in the industry, supply easily met consumer and patient demand. New Mexicans have a lot to be proud of in the launch of this new industry, which is already adding value to the state’s diverse economy.”