Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

Customers flooded New Mexico dispensaries on Friday – the first day of recreational cannabis sales – and spent more than $2.7 million, according to the state’s Cannabis Control Division.

Over 29,000 recreational cannabis customers spent more than $1.9 million on Friday, according to the agency. Medical sales stood at around $788,000.

“New Mexicans turned out in strong numbers yesterday to support New Mexico business and to purchase high-quality New Mexico products,” CCD Director Kristen Thomson said. “We are thrilled for every consumer and every business that was part of this historic day.”

The state tracks sales numbers through BioTrack, the state’s contracted track-and-trace system, CCD spokeswoman Heather Brewer told the Journal. That system connects to point-of-sale systems utilized by retailers, which then gives the state a total number for sales.

In the division’s first update, which came at noon Friday, adult-use sales accounted for $475,632. Total recreational transactions at the time stood at nearly 6,000.

By 8 p.m., roughly 28,000 recreational customers had spent over $1.8 million on cannabis products, according to CCD.

Given Friday’s end result, “it’s safe to say that the demand for New Mexico’s newest economic sector is high,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham tweeted Saturday.

“We’re creating jobs and generating tax revenue in communities all across New Mexico,” she said.

Ultra Health, which is approaching 40 retail establishments statewide, did about $420,000 in recreational sales Friday, said the company’s CEO and President Duke Rodriguez.

Ultra Health’s Sunland Park location did more than $11,000 in total sales in the first hour alone, Rodriguez said, and a backlog of 75 to 100 customers continued to wait in line throughout most of the day and evening. The legacy operator did well at its retail locations that border Texas.

R. Greenleaf Organics, another legacy operator, declined to give detailed numbers on first-day sales. But Jessie Hunt, the company’s spokeswoman, said R. Greenleaf “tripled” its sales numbers Friday.

“It was by far our biggest day ever,” she said.

And the brisk sales continued Saturday. As of 3 p.m., the state was reporting more than $879,600 in total sales, including over $555,000 in recreational sales.

Looking at supply

There were more than 1 million plants accounted for before sales began, Brewer said. Like sales numbers, the amount of plants is followed through BioTrack. But Brewer said CCD hasn’t heard of any cannabis businesses experiencing shortages after Day One of sales.

“Retailers that we’ve talked to seem optimistic that the supply is able to fully meet demand,” she said.

But Rodriguez said he has doubts about the amount of plants the state is touting.

“The big question will be what happens to supply next,” Rodriguez said. “This is a bigger question mark in New Mexico than it was in any other state because we started with such a deficit in supply.”