Cannabis sales high on New Mexico's first legal 420 - Albuquerque Journal

Cannabis sales high on New Mexico’s first legal 420

Chris Austin exhales after smoking his pipe inside the Jam Spot where vendors sold their cannabis products in celebration of 420 in Downtown Albuquerque. New Mexico retailers and medical dispensaries did more than $2.2 million in sales on Wednesday, according to state officials. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

Customers were ready to roll it up, light it up and smoke it up on New Mexico’s first legal “High Holy holiday,” as sales surpassed $2.2 million Wednesday, according to the state’s Cannabis Control Division.

“420,” celebrated on April 20, is an unofficial holiday for cannabis consumers.

Both adult-use and medical sales did about $1.1 million each, according to the data. Overall, the state has realized about $26.9 million in cannabis sales since April 1 – the first day of legal retail sales in New Mexico.

“I would say 420 from, you know, the customer-facing front was a really great success,” said Red Barn Growers executive director Ellie Besancon, whose vertically integrated cannabis company has four retail locations spread across Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Gallup.

Besancon said Red Barn Growers – which conducts business as Green Goods in Las Cruces and Albuquerque – on Wednesday did about 70% of the sales it did on opening day. Besancon said that’s what the company had forecast going into the cannabis holiday.

The company had extended its hours at its retail locations Wednesday, with an earlier opening and a later closing.

“We saw more people at the front end of the day and we had nice flurries at the tail end of the day,” Besancon said. “And then I would say the middle of the day was a little bit more elevated than what we what we’ve been normally seeing over the past three weeks.”

Those statewide 420 sales numbers – and overall numbers from the first 20 days of adult-use sales – are on the low end of Ultra Health’s internal projections, said Duke Rodriguez, president and CEO of the vertically integrated cannabis company.

“This could be an early confirmation of price gouging, limited supplies and the constant reality of the illicit market presence,” Rodriguez told the Journal.

Rodriguez added that sales numbers are “preliminary,” and that the taxes paid and remitted “will separate the hype from reality.”

But the state has so far praised the overall sales figures.

“The cannabis industry in New Mexico is strong,” CCD director Kristen Thomson said in a statement. “From a strong opening and reliable supply to the sales bump on 420, New Mexicans have worked together to create a thriving industry that is part of the state’s diverse economy.”

The state’s overall cannabis sales from the past 20 days have been led by adult-use consumers, who, to date, have contributed about $15.2 million in purchases. About $11.7 million has been spent by medical patients, according to CCD’s data.

New Mexico’s largest sales day to date still remains April 1, when 29,000 adult-use consumers spent about $1.9 million.

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