Record-Breaking Year For New Mexico's Cannabis Industry: $37M In December Sales, $500M In 2023

Zinger Key Points
  • New Mexico's cannabis sales soar to over half a billion in 2023, marking a historic year.
  • Sunland Park's booming cannabis market fuels local economy and tourism, generating over $30 million.
  • FBI's delay in background checks poses a significant challenge to New Mexico's burgeoning cannabis industry.

New Mexico concluded 2023 with record-breaking legal marijuana sales, surpassing half a billion dollars in its first full year. In December alone, adult-use cannabis purchases climbed to over $37 million and medical marijuana sales hit their highest since August, totaling $50.5 million. 

Since April 2022, when adult-use cannabis shops debuted, the state has earned $608.4 million in total sales, with medical cannabis accounting for around $307.5 million.

The surge in December sales was driven by large individual transactions, with medical purchases averaging just under $52 and adult-use around $42.50. This increase follows a period of decline in average prices, which reached their lowest in October. The data, however, does not clarify if the rise is due to costlier products or increased purchasing volumes by consumers, noted Marijuana Moment.

Despite this success, the industry faced regulatory challenges. The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department recently revoked licenses to two cannabis firms and imposed $2 million in fines due to critical regulatory violations.

Sunland Park’s Cannabis Boom: Over $30 Million In Sales Fuels Local Economy And Tourism

Sunland Park cannabis sales have significantly bolstered the local economy and attracted tourists. Mayor Javier Perea noted that from January to November 2023, the city amassed over $30 million in cannabis sales. This boom has positively impacted Sunland Park’s general fund, thanks to additional tax revenues from more than two dozen dispensaries in the city, reported KTSM. 

Locally, the cannabis industry is seen as a catalyst for broader economic development, expected to attract restaurants and entertainment venues, promising a bright economic future for Sunland Park.

FBI’s Delay In Cannabis Background Checks Poses Challenges

The FBI has not authorized national background checks on operators, which is a state requirement. This particularly affects out-of-state applicants, risking industry integrity. Efforts to adjust New Mexico state law for FBI compliance are ongoing, but if unresolved by January 16, legislative changes might be deferred.

Despite this, the industry remains largely unaffected, with about 1,600 recreational licenses issued and state agencies ensuring compliance with federal background checks, according to Santa Fe New Mexican.

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Posted In: CannabisRegulationsRetail SalesFBIJavier Perea
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