The Land of Enchantment has a long history with cannabis. In fact, New Mexico was the first state to have a medical cannabis use law enacted — nearly 45 years ago! This law allowed for medical cannabis use, but only through a federally-approved research program. This innovative stance certainly paved the way for the legalization of medical use for qualifying patients in 2007, and recreational approval by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on April 12, 2021. A year later, the first licensed New Mexico recreational cannabis sales began, and the New Mexico cannabis market has been blazing ever since!
Current specifics to the laws are as follows:
- There is no possession limit at home, but there is a two-ounce limit outside the home.
- Personal cultivation of six mature plants and six immature plants are allowed per person, with a limit of 12 mature plants per residence.
- Public consumption remains illegal, but businesses will be allowed to offer on-site consumption if certain requirements are met.
- Retail sales include a 12% excise tax in addition to regular sales taxes. This excise tax will increase 1% each year beginning in 2025, until reaching 18% in 2030.
- There is no limit on the number of retail licenses issued by the state.
- Local governments will be allowed to limit the number of dispensaries or restrict where they are located but will not be allowed to ban them entirely.
- Any arrests or convictions for acts made legal by the bill will automatically be expunged.
Cannabis Sales in New Mexico
New Mexico cannabis sales have flourished in 2022. October saw another in a line of sales records, topping out at $25 million, per the Cannabis Control Division (CCD) data outlined by the Albuquerque Journal reports. Overall numbers for both medical and adult-use sales for the month of October were $39.8 million.
Proximity to non-legalized states has contributed to the state’s success in the cannabis industry. Border towns in New Mexico represent a third of adult-use sales. For example, Sunland Park, with a population of fewer than 20,000, sold more than $1.5 million during October in adult-use cannabis.
New Mexico Cannabis Market
Meanwhile, the state itself continues to encourage study of the social effects of cannabis. A new academic study published by PLOS ONE, an American non-profit, peer-reviewed journal, and conducted by researchers at California Polytechnic State University and the University of New Mexico, found the strongest evidence yet that the legalization of cannabis has directly impacted both the name brand and generic pharma industry. The average market loss in each U.S. state was estimated to be $10 billion; these findings are based on a review of prescription drug sales and stock prices of 556 pharma companies between 1996 to 2019 and market trends that emerged after the legalization of either/or medical and recreational cannabis.
Additionally, a new healthcare company in New Mexico has agreed to assist in amending gaps in the health insurance industry for medical marijuana patients. Through a partnership with AltaVida Dispensary, Bennabis Health will support medical patients, including those in workers’ compensation cases where cannabis is an alternative medicine for chronic pain.
“This is a tremendously exciting step in the growth of Bennabis Health as a visionary company clearing a path for those who can benefit most from medical cannabis where coverage is not otherwise available,” said Don Parisi, president of Bennabis Health. “Opening our network in New Mexico with AltaVida helps us progress in our mission to achieve medical cannabis benefits across the country.”
In certain states like New Mexico and New Jersey, workers’ compensation claims cases can require medical marijuana costs to be reimbursed by the carrier when it offers reasonable and necessary treatment as an appropriate alternative to opioids. However, in these cases, the injured worker would have to pay out-of-pocket a substantial amount per month for their medical marijuana and then seek reimbursement. Bennabis Health solves this problem by creating a layer of protection between the dispensary and the payor. The company also offers a membership program that provides science-based education and support for medical cannabis. Patients who join will have lower out-of-pocket costs through a 15% discount at participating network dispensaries.
Get Involved in New Mexico Cannabis
CannaCon is the nation’s leading business-to-business cannabis conference. See for yourself the whole of the New Mexico cannabis market at CannaCon West.
Join us in Albuquerque May 19-20, 2023, to network with like-minded entrepreneurs who are building a bold new industry, including everything from cultivation supplies, the newest industry innovations, world-class genetics, business and legal advice, retail displays, extraction technology, scientific and financial trends, marketing, branding and so much more.