Carlsbad and Artesia cannabis retailers and producers seemed poised to capitalize on potential profits with a number of license approvals and applications submitted to the State of New Mexico.
Eight combined licenses were approved for retail stores, cannabis microbusiness producers, producers and manufacturers within the Carlsbad city limits as of Friday, read the Cannabis Control Division (CCD) of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department’s website.
Around 15 cannabis microbusiness producers and ten other producers submitted drafts to CCD for license approval.
Matt Kennicott, partner and founder of Weeds, a cannabis consulting firm from Albuquerque, said microbusiness producers were allowed to grow up to 200 cannabis plants at one licensed location.
He said microbusiness producers may sell their product on their own if they have a micro retail license or on the open market for manufacturing or retail operations.
“The cannabis industry in New Mexico is off to a great start. With so many enthusiastic operators and consumers being offered more choices than ever, we will have a very strong marketplace for years to come,” Kennicott said.
The Cannabis Regulation Act, passed by the New Mexico Legislature and signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham last year, legalized adult-use, recreational cannabis sales, which began on April 1 of this year.
Cannabis interest growing in Artesia?
Eight potential Artesia cannabis microbusiness producers offered draft plans to CCD for licenses and one cannabis manufacturer turned over a draft application in the Artesia area, according to CCD’s website.
Sale of the business that previously housed Artesia’s Chaos Café to Pecos Valley Production, a Roswell cannabis firm, was imminent said the company’s vice president of business development.
Leonard Salgado said Pecos Valley Production could take possession of the building at 501 South First Street sometime in May.
“We’re very anxious to get into the building,” he said.
Artesia City Councilors approved a special use permit for dispensary, the community’s first retail cannabis dispensary April 12.
Salgado said the retail store might alleviate Artesians driving 40 miles to Roswell or Carlsbad for Pecos Valley Production recreational and medical cannabis products.
“With the price of gas that’s probably a good thing,” he said.
Cannabis sales spike on 420 in New Mexico
Wednesday Cannabis retailers across New Mexico sold $2.2 million in cannabis products on the unofficial cannabis holiday.
Wednesday’s sales were slightly less than the $2.7 million sold on the first day of sales April 1.
“Legal cannabis sales have brought 420 out of the shadows and into the mainstream of our state’s economy,” said Kristen Thomson, CCD director in a press release.
All adult-use cannabis sales in New Mexico were taxed. Medical cannabis sales are tax exempt, state the CCD press release.
“I'd expect to see cannabis sales to remain steady and strong for the next three months. The challenge will be ensuring there is enough supply of product in the pipeline, but if that can be met, then sales should remain strong for some time to come,” Kennicott said.
“This is the greatest economic development opportunity for New Mexico since bringing in the film industry and people are taking full advantage of this unprecedented time in our state's history,” he said.
The State of New Mexico estimated cannabis sales to could generate up to $300 million annually, and create 11,000 jobs while bringing in $50 million in state revenue in 2022 alone.
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This article originally appeared on Carlsbad Current-Argus: State issues cannabis business licenses in Carlsbad