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Hobbs still a top pot stop

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Gabrielle Arsiage/News-Sun

Even though Hobbs dropped to No. 5 in cannabis sales during the month of May, it’s still one of the top selling cannabis cities in New Mexico, according to the Cannabis Control Division of New Mexico.

Adult use cannabis sales began April 1, 2022, in New Mexico after the NM Legislature passed the Cannabis Regulation Act in 2021.

For the month of April, Hobbs reported an estimated $1.7 million in cannabis sales, while in May, those sales dropped to $1.6 million.

Rio Rancho just barely beat out Hobbs in reported cannabis sales for the month of May, while in April, Hobbs took the win beating Rio Rancho by an estimated $46,000. In May, Rio Rancho cannabis sales brought in an estimated $1,722,943.80 while Hobbs reported $1,612,283.90, an almost $111,000 dollar difference.

Statewide, sales during the opening month was $40 million in April and in May combined sales fell to $39 million. Despite four additional towns or cities seeing dispensaries open during the month of May, sales amounted to $1 million less than the opening month of legal cannabis sales, a decrease, Duke Rodriguez, CEO of Ultra Health attributed in a prior phone call with the News-Sun to not having “five Fridays, 4/20, and legalization all falling into the month of April.”

Licensed dispensaries in 44 towns and cities sold $38,532,757, of which $21,100,804 was for adult use and therefore subject to gross receipts taxes as well as a 12 percent state cannabis excise tax.

Retailers paid $1.6 million in gross receipts taxes on April revenue, which included sales of non-cannabis products at their stores; and $2.4 million in excise taxes, the CCD said.

Sales of medical cannabis, which is tax-free and requires enrollment in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program, amounted to $17,431,954 in May an increase compared to April’s sales, which were $17,337,615.

Though legal cannabis sales for recreational use opened in New Mexico on April 1, medical marijuana use in New Mexico has been around since 2007. Approximately 118 dispensaries have been operating under the medical framework across the state. Under state law, all 118 of those stores were set to sale recreational marijuana on April 1.

New Mexico’s most populous city, Albuquerque, where medical cannabis sales increased but overall sales receded slightly, dispensaries there sold $14.4 million in total, including $7.3 million for adult use.

Medical cannabis sales, which are not taxable, gained slightly as a percentage of total revenue in May with more than 45 percent. Adult use, also known as recreational cannabis, made up about 55 percent of revenue.

In cities near or easily accessible to Texas, where cannabis remains illegal, sales remained robust. While the highest sales corresponded to major population centers, six of the top 10 were the southern New Mexico communities of Las Cruces, Hobbs, Sunland Park, Carlsbad, Alamogordo and Ruidoso.

Albuquerque topped the charts once again bringing in the majority of the states sales at $14.4 million. Second on the list was Santa Fe, which brought in $3.3 million; third was Las Cruces, which brought in $3.3; fourth was Rio Rancho at $1.7; fifth was Hobbs at $1.6; sixth was Sunland Park at $1.4; seventh was Clovis at $1.1 million; eighth was Carlsbad at $1 million; ninth was Alamogordo at $1 million; and tenth was Ruidoso $900,000, which didn’t make the top ten list in April.

Sunland Park, near El Paso, increased sales to $1.48 million, including $1.27 million in adult use sales.

Cloudcroft, where more dispensaries have opened since April 1, saw a large jump in both medicinal and regular adult products, from $1,765 the first month to $20,249 in May.

Chaparral, which posted no sales in April as dispensaries prepared to open, posted $8,506 in total cannabis sales in May.

Carlsbad posted $1.08 million in cannabis sales overall, a slight decrease from $1.1 million in April.

Portales also saw decreases in both categories, totaling $361,551 in May compared to $397,908 the prior month.

The Cannabis Control Division, a new division organized under the state Regulation and Licensing Department, projects $300 million in sales and $50 million in tax revenue during New Mexico’s first year of legal cannabis.

In the second month, sales remained on track to exceed that goal.

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