State officials in New Mexico announced this week that sales of regulated cannabis topped $40 million in July, setting a new record since legal sales of recreational pot began in the state earlier this year. The Cannabis Control Division of the Regulation and Licensing Department noted the figure tops the monthly purchases of regulated cannabis recorded every month since April, when licensed sales of recreational weed kicked off in the state.
During the month of July, licensed retailers throughout New Mexico reported more than $40 million in cannabis sales, with sales of adult-use cannabis alone topping $23 million. Cannabis sales totaled more than $39 million in April, the first month of legalized recreational sales and the state’s previous record high, with April adult-use sales totaling just over $22 million. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said that the figures show that a strong market for regulated recreational marijuana is being created in the state.
“These numbers show that the impressive sales generated in the first month of legalized recreational cannabis sales were no fluke – and this is only the beginning,” Lujan Grisham said on Thursday in a statement from the governor’s office. “We’ve 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.”
State officials noted that the strongest sales of cannabis were reported in New Mexico’s most populated areas including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Hobbs, and Rio Rancho. Albuquerque saw the highest cannabis sales in the state, with combined adult-use cannabis and medical marijuana purchases topping $14 million in July. Santa Fe was next in line, with just under $3.5 million in combined sales last month. Sunland and Hobbs, two cities on the border with Texas, where recreational pot is still illegal, each recorded more than $1 million in adult-use cannabis sales.
New Cannabis Products Helping To Drive Sales
Rusty Poe, the manager of Sol Cannabis in Las Cruces, told local media that sales at his shop keep increasing.
“Sales have actually been steadily increasing for us, the more product we bring in the more sales we have,” said Poe, noting that new products on the dispensary menu including cannabis-infused beverages and edibles have helped fuel the uptick in sales.
New Mexico Cannabis Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ben Lewinger said that the state’s cannabis sales figures are a victory for New Mexico and its growing industry.
“I couldn’t be prouder of my home state,” said Lewinger. “The Cannabis Regulation Act presented what felt like an impossible timeline to stand up a brand new adult use cannabis industry, yet here (we) are – four months into legal cannabis for folks over 21 and we have record sales, for not only adult use but also our cherished medical cannabis program. …Best of all, no one city or county owns this success — the industry will continue to grow across the entire state.”
Since regulated sales of adult-use cannabis began in April, dispensaries have rung up more than $88 million in recreational pot sales. The Cannabis Control Division releases sales numbers monthly, with data made available at the beginning of each month for the previous month.
New Mexico’s rising sales of adult-use cannabis are a boon for the public coffers as well as the state’s cannabis industry. New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department spokesman Charlie Moore said cannabis excise tax returns totaled close to $2.5 million in June. The amount of tax generated by sales of cannabis in July will be released by the agency in late August.
A.J. Herrington is a San Diego-based freelance writer covering cannabis news, business, and culture.