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Gov. Lujan Grisham celebrates launch of recreational cannabis sales

New industry will generate tens of millions of dollars in state, local revenue every year

ALBUQUERQUE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham celebrated the launch of New Mexico’s adult-use recreational cannabis industry on Friday as sales began at retailers across the state, culminating the state’s journey to legalization and launching New Mexico’s newest industry.

“This is a historic day for New Mexico – the beginning of a new economic opportunity for entrepreneurs and communities across the state,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “With around 250 retailers licensed and ready to go on day one, New Mexico’s recreational cannabis industry is off to a strong start. With the dedicated work of legislators and advocates, we have crafted a well-regulated industry that is creating jobs, spurring economic activity, and generating revenue for state and local governments.”

“We are a state focused on growing an economy that attracts and retains young people – and what could be more exciting than a new industry that presents so many unique opportunities,” Lujan Grisham said.

The governor visited a cannabis retailer in Albuquerque on Friday morning, celebrating the first day of recreational sales with customers and staff.

Gov. Lujan Grisham legalized adult-use cannabis last year after calling a special session to get the effort across the finish line, signing legislation in April of 2021 that balanced economic growth, consumer safety, and criminal justice while building on the experiences of other states to ensure no New Mexican was left behind. The legislation legalized adult possession and personal growth as of June 29, 2021, and enabled retail sales to begin April 1 of this year.

The recreational adult-use cannabis industry builds upon the work Gov. Lujan Grisham has done to diversify and grow New Mexico’s economy, augmenting the significant expansions she has delivered in sectors like film and television, clean energy, and aerospace, among others. The recreational cannabis industry is expected to create as many as 11,000 new jobs across the state over several years, in addition to generating over $300 million in sales and over $50 million in revenue in its first year.

New Mexico’s regulations were crafted to prioritize reducing barriers to entrepreneurship, establishing micro-business licenses that ensure smaller businesses have a pathway to success. Over half of newly licensed producers across the state are considered micro-businesses, with an easier licensing process and lower start-up costs enabling more entrepreneurs to get started in the industry.

The state has licensed nearly 100 minority-owned cannabis businesses and nearly 100 women-owned cannabis businesses across New Mexico so far, with some overlap. Earlier this month, Gov. Lujan Grisham announced the signing of intergovernmental agreements with the Pueblos of Pojoaque and Picuris, empowering those sovereign nations to fully participate in the cannabis economy on tribal lands and within New Mexico’s borders.