New Mexico’s medicinal cannabis industry is growing into a powerful magnet for customers and money.
Over the past one year, customers, sales revenue and dispensaries have exploded with over 40,000 people signing up to buy medical marijuana.
Since 1st January, about 8,000 New Mexicans got a license issued by the state that will allow them to legally purchase pot, thus pushing the patient enrollment to about 40,432 in the month of April. As per a recent survey, with the current growth spurt, the enrollment of patients has increased to 84% since March 2016.
There were about 36 dispensaries in the month of Jan, but the number increased to 56 in the month of April with dispensaries opening up in smaller cities like Roswell, Hobbs, Carlsbad, Artesia, Taos and Clovis. This gave the sale the much needed push
This year’s first-quarter sales topped $19 million. The number was up to 91% over the same time span in 2016, as per the data submitted by New Mexico Department of Health.
Duke Rodriguez, the president and CEO of Ultra Health LLC said, “We are probably the single fastest growing industry in New Mexico”. The Ultra Health LLC is the state’s biggest cannabis distributor. “This is the one industry that has been a juggernaut of growth,” he said.
Rodriguez and other industry experts say that the primary reason for the growth seen in this sector is greater acceptance of the medicinal drug in New Mexico and nationally among the physicians who certify the drug to the patients and public in general.
Rodriguez said, “Cannabis is being mainstreamed. Patients are coming out into the bright daylight and saying they advocate and support cannabis. No longer is it a hush-hush topic.”
However, not everyone is happy with the growth of this sector. State Representative Bill Rehm, (an Albuquerque Republican), a retired deputy sheriff worries that by legalizing cannabis the state’s problem of driving under drug influence will worsen. He also rubbishes that legalization of cannabis would eradicate the criminal market for the drugs.
This year, the lawmakers rejected a bill that was sponsored by Bill Rehm. The bill would expand the state’s drunken driving law. He wanted to include the blood concentration levels for drugs like marijuana.
The cannabis industry is making use of new and innovative forms of marketing. They are making use of social media platform to promote their events like ‘hemp expos’ or similar fairs where consumers can learn how to be eligible for a patient’s license.