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Marijuana retailers voice supply concerns as recreational sales loom in New Mexico

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Recreational cannabis is soon to hit store shelves for sale across the state. However, the day recreational sales open to the public, it may be in short supply. Some retailers are worried the low supply might not be able to meet the demand.

Last year, New Mexico lawmakers legalized recreational cannabis. Now some producers believe there hasn’t been enough time to stock up in time for the April 1 opening day.

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“What we have today is what we are going to serve the market. Is it going to be enough? The answer is no. On day one it’s going to be a challenge as it’s going to be a challenge for maybe as long as 9 to 12 to 18 months,” said Ultra Health President, Duke Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says the state’s last estimate was there were over one-million mature plants. However, he doesn’t believe it because most producers have been licensed for less than a year. A spokeswoman for the state agency overseeing cannabis says this week they’ve “okay-ed” licenses for 228 retail shops to open up.

It’s unclear how many of those shops will open next Friday. The cannabis control division has suggested that it thinks there will be a sufficient supply and that any shortage that may come will stabilize quickly. “I cannot imagine this nor do we anticipate stores selling completely out. Unless they were only selling one product, said Cannabis Control Division, Director Kristen Thompson.

Thompson says the CCD  is expecting an “exciting start” to recreational sales, which will be available to people 21 and older. The CDC says it’s also trying to work on long-term stabilization to supplies by increasing plant counts across the state. The state says it has no idea of how many shops will open for business next Friday. While they gave out the licenses, they are not asking for retail shops to provide an “opening date.”