Adults 21 and older may purchase cannabis on April 1, 2022, yet licensing and supply constraints remain
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Dec. 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — New Mexico’s adult-use cannabis sales will officially commence in 100 days. Ultra Health, New Mexico’s #1 Cannabis Company, will begin selling cannabis to adults at more than 35 locations come April 1, 2022.
New Mexico’s cannabis legalization enabling legislation, the Cannabis Regulation Act, allows all adults 21 years and older to purchase two ounces of cannabis flower, 16 grams of cannabis extract, and 800 milligrams of edible cannabis at any one time, no later than April 1, 2022.
Despite the rapid approach of the April deadline, the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department (RLD) has yet to license enough cannabis producers to meet demand. To date, RLD has licensed just eight additional operators beyond the 34 legacy medical cannabis licensees, according to information published on RLD’s licensing portal.
The eight newly licensed operators include six cannabis producer licensees and two cannabis producer microbusinesses. By statute, microbusinesses are limited to no more than 200 mature cannabis plants.
New Mexico’s legalized cannabis industry will require a minimum of 428,607 plants to be in active production at any one time to meet demand for adults and medical purchasers in 2022. Only 104,105 plants are currently licensed, which is typically a much higher factor than plants in active production, according to information released via Inspection of Public Records requests.
Furthermore, cannabis needs approximately five months to be cultivated and fully prepared for sale. Producers must have been licensed with plants in active production by November 1, 2021, to have cannabis ready for sale on April 1, 2022. Only one of the new operators was licensed by the five-month deadline.
Due to regulatory delays in setting up cannabis producer licensing, medical purchasers and adults will be facing a shortage in the legal cannabis market come April 2022. As demand for cannabis grows, it is unclear when or how a shortage will be mitigated unless RLD allows current producers to ramp up production to meet demand.
Although production levels are inadequate, access to legal cannabis dispensaries will be greater in New Mexico than in other surrounding states.
Today, there are more than 161 retail locations statewide, with 51 in Albuquerque, 20 in Santa Fe, and 10 in Las Cruces. There are just 124 active cannabis dispensaries in Arizona, with 36 in Phoenix proper and 14 in Tucson. Arizona’s total population is over three times New Mexico’s. Arizona regulators limit the number of retail dispensaries but there is no limit in the number of plants a licensee can have in active production to meet demand levels.
Ultra Health is New Mexico’s #1 Cannabis Company and the largest minority-owned cannabis company in the United States. The vertically-integrated provider currently operates 25 dispensary locations statewide, with another 10 stores slated to open by the first quarter of 2022. Ultra Health provides unparalleled medical cannabis care by producing accurately dosed, smokeless cannabis products such as sublingual tablets, oils, pastilles, suppositories and more through its partnership with Israeli pharmaceutical group Panaxia. Ultra Health has been at the forefront of patient-rights issues and continues to fight for adequate supply and rural access in the New Mexico cannabis market.
Contact: Marissa Novel 480-404-6699