Since New Mexico‘s regulated marketplace opened sales of adult-use marijuana, reported sales topped $40 million.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham referenced the cannabis revenue numbers from July saying that they “have established a new industry that is already generating millions of dollars in local and state revenue and will continue to generate millions more in economic activity across the state, creating thousands of jobs for New Mexicans in communities both small and large.”
In April 2021, New Mexico became the latest state to legalize adult-use cannabis after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Cannabis Regulation Act. Some two months later, the law took effect, allowing adults to legally possess, use and grow recreational cannabis, including six plants or up to 12 in a household with more than one adult.
Cannabis In New Mexico: What Do Numbers And People Say?
Recreational cannabis sales have grown 5.8 percent since April as more retailers entered the market. Additionally, non-medical sales for adults 21 and older totaled $23.5 million per CCD report, compared to $22.1 million during the first month of legal transactions.
Cannabis sales for adult use are subject to state and local gross receipts taxes, as well as a cannabis excise tax.
As for gross medical cannabis sales, the July report stated that they have dropped since April. Medical products accounted for $16.8 million of total sales reported to the New Mexico Cannabis Control Division. That’s on the same level as the $16.5 million reported in June, which was down nearly $1 million from April and May.
Medical cannabis sales are tax-free in New Mexico. In July, the state Department of Taxation and Revenue collected returns from 149 retailers for a total of nearly $2.5 million in excise taxes, in addition to the TRB that varies based on local tax rates.
However, Duke Rodriguez, CEO of Ultra Health, said “the results are nowhere near our true potential (…) At best, you get a grade of maybe a C on the report card.”
“Montana, with only half the adult population of New Mexico and without the benefit of Texas around the corner, made $19.2 million,” Rodriguez added, arguing that New Mexico’s combined sales should be higher, reaching $50 million.
Rodriguez added that the “illicit market” can easily set its prices lower — by as much as half per gram of cannabis. “We will never be competitive with the illicit market until we can be more competitive with the amount of product, the quality of the product, and the price of the product.”
As part of the social justice imperative of the Cannabis Regulation Act, plant count limits have also been established as a way to provide equal opportunity to new market entrants, including operators smaller than Ultra Health.
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