ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It has been one year since recreational cannabis came to New Mexico, and sales are booming. With the anniversary right around the corner, on Apr. 1, cannabis manufacturers are gearing up for what they hope will be record-breaking sales.
New Mexico is coming up on one year of legalizing recreational cannabis…and the plant isn’t the only thing growing. “Our sales have increased by an excess of 300%. And we have increased our staff by approximately the same amount,” says John Mancini, CEO of Assurance Laboratories.
Businesses, like Assurance Laboratories, are expanding in ways they never imagined. The demand for cannabis products has attracted more companies and dispensaries to set up shop in the land of enchantment.
Assurance Laboratories is a manufacturer that produces cannabis-infused gummies, energy drinks, and vape cartridges, which they sell to local shops. The industry’s boom has allowed for them to expand their partnerships, like with the national company, Airo, to manufacture their cartridges. “Over the course of my time here, it’s just continuing to get busier and busier. I’m scheduling more and more pop-ups across the state,” says Ashley Buffington with Airo Brands.
Recreational sales in New Mexico passed $6 million within the first week of legalization. Sales since day one have reached $268 million.
According to the regulation and licensing department for the state, 626 retailer licenses have been approved, along with 499 manufacturer licenses. The highest sales are in the population centers of Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces. The fourth highest is Sunland Park, with many buyers coming from nearby El Paso, Texas.
Since cannabis is not federally legal, national brands have to partner with local manufacturers like Assurance to get their products out there. Two-thirds of the taxes on cannabis sales go to the state’s general fund. The remaining third goes to the municipality where the product was sold.