A long awaited day of celebration in New Mexico kicked off this weekend with long lines, busy dispensaries and a state record for amounts of cannabis sold in one day.
The Land of Enchantment tallied $2.76 million in legal marijuana sales on its first day of recreational cannabis sales, nearly a full 12 months after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed House Bill 2 into law on April 12 of last year to legalize the purchase of up to two ounces of cannabis, 16 grams of concentrated THC and 800 mg of edibles by adults 21 years of age and older.
The law also allows people to grow and harvest up to six cannabis plants at home for personal use.
Albuquerque resident Sergio Mendoza was one of 41,910 customers to make a cannabis purchase over the weekend, according to official tallies from New Mexico’s Cannabis Control Division. Mendoza, 22, arrived before 7 a.m. at PurLife Menaul dispensary to become the store’s first ever adult-use cannabis buyer.
“I work overnight and would usually be sleeping by now,” Mendoza said. “But this is such a historic day, I had to be here.”
Just a few miles down the street from where Mendoza bought high-THC concentrates to consume with his dab rig, Gov. Grisham stopped by Everest Uptown dispensary to greet dozens of shoppers waiting outside one of 118 licensed cannabis stores to debut retail sales this weekend.
Speaking to the crowd on hand, the governor said getting adult-use up and running was key for raising tax revenue, allowing more people to access marijuana as medicine and helping to destigmatize a plant that federal authorities have still yet to legalize. New Mexico had permitted medical-only sales since July 2015, but the high costs and lengthy bureaucratic process associated with registering for a medical marijuana card with state authorities had deterred many patients from signing up.
With adult-use, people can now anonymously purchase the plant as they would any other item at a grocery store or other retail location.
“We’re here today to show that this industry is a force for good,” Grisham said. “This is just the beginning of what promises to be a wonderful addition to our state.”