The City of Carlsbad remained No. 8 in cannabis sales during May despite a slight drop in sales, according to the Cannabis Control Division of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department.
Adult-use cannabis sales began April 1 in New Mexico after the New Mexico Legislature passed the Cannabis Regulation Act in 2021. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the legislation just after lawmakers passed it.
Carlsbad had $1.1 million in combined medical and adult use cannabis sales in April, per data from the Cannabis Control Division (CCD).
Combined sales dropped to $1 million in May in Carlsbad as medical and adult use figures dropped from the opening month.
Sales across New Mexico dipped from April to May, according to a news release from CCD.
Sales during the opening month was $40 million in April and in May combined sales fell to $39 million, the news release stated.
“These sales figures depict a steady pace that we expected when adult-use cannabis was legalized,” said CCD Director Kristen Thomas in the news release.
“Our staff continues to work diligently to ensure applicants move through our licensing process efficiently, and ensure licensees operate within a safe, accessible, and effective regulated market” she said.
Matt Kennicott of the Weeds cannabis consulting firm in Albuquerque said despite the sales drop in Carlsbad and the State. Interest for cannabis remained powerful.
“Carlsbad being in the top-10 for sales over the last month shows that there has been pent-up demand for legal cannabis in our communities,” he said.
“With the boom that has been experienced in the oil fields over the last few years, consumers now have more disposable income to spend on items like cannabis or they are turning to cannabis as medicine to help with their aches and pains and other health-related issues,” Kennicott said.
Six licenses were approved by the CCD for cannabis retailers, cannabis production microbusinesses, cannabis manufacturers and cannabis producers within the City of Carlsbad as of June 3.
Twenty-two draft proposals awaited license approval from the CCD for various cannabis outlets in the City of Carlsbad, per the agency’s website.
“Either way, the cannabis market for Carlsbad and Eddy County is looking strong and will likely continue that way for quite some time,” Kennicott said.
Texas interest fueling cannabis sales?
Hobbs, Clovis and Sunland Park were ahead of Carlsbad in overall sales, data read from CCD.
The three cities are close to the Lone Star State where recreational cannabis use, and sales are illegal.
“What we’re seeing with the breakdown of the numbers from various regions is that our neighbors are also very excited about our market, particularly those coming from Texas,” Kennicott said.
Hobbs recorded $1.6 million in cannabis sales. Sunland Park had $1.4 million and Clovis reported $1.1 million in overall sales, per the CCD.
Kennicott speculated Carlsbad’s close proximity to Texas likely helped generate sales during May.
Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Rio Rancho were New Mexico’s leading cities in cannabis sales in May, according to the Cannabis Control Division.
“This first year will be interesting in establishing the baseline for how our market will mature in the future,” Kennicott said.
The cannabis industry was projected to generate $300 million annually in sales, create 11,000 jobs and bring in $50 million in state revenue in the first year alone, according to CCD.
“Sales will likely remain very strong, but it’ll be important to keep an eye on market conditions such as how many new producers and manufacturers are coming online, how many retailers are opening, and the availability of product on the wholesale market,” Kennicott said.
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