Recreational cannabis sales are legal in New Mexico. Las Cruces dispensaries open at midnight

LAS CRUCES – Adults can legally purchase recreational marijuana in New Mexico. No foolin’.

April 1st, the Land of Enchantment The 18th state to regulate cannabis retail salesMany stores in Las Cruces opened their doors at 12:01 AM to celebrate the historic date.

A few hundred people lined up outside R. Greenleaf, at 2750 Mall Drive, ready to purchase weed in various forms, including flower, edibles and tinctures.

“This has to be the most peaceful line I’ve ever seen,” said Onola Corradini, who was standing around, about 75 people from the front of the line. “People, I think, are going to be out here til’ the sun comes up, waiting to walk in that door, just to be part of that whole experience.”

First in line

Jeremy Sandoval claimed that he stopped by his home to take a shower after leaving work on Thursday. He then drove to R. Greenleaf and arrived at 6:30 p.m. ahead of any other patron.

“It’s been a long time coming,”Sandoval spoke out about legalizing recreational cannabis. “We’ve all been waiting for it. It’s a milestone in the road ahead of us.”

Sandoval said he’s looking forward to recreational cannabis becoming socially acceptable and said he’s been following the legalization of the plant since 2012, when Colorado and Washington both OK’d paths to sales of cannabis — still classified as an illegal drug federally.

More:Las Cruces may relax business rules to allow for legal cannabis sales

Justin Dye, CEO at Schwazze, which also owns R. Greenleaf was seen greeting Sandoval as he entered the store shortly after midnight. He proudly announced his company’s ownership. “welcome to our house.”

Sandoval received recommendations from Dye and other employees on what to buy. He ended up purchasing about $200 worth of products and left with an empty smile.

“I wasn’t expecting to be the first person — I just got that turn of luck,”He said.

Midnight madness: A Las Cruces exclusive

The City of Las Cruces is unique among major cities in the state. There are still no operating hours for cannabis businesses.These midnight debuts were possible because local dispensaries are able to do so.

R. Greenleaf also has a Santa Fe location that will not be open until 7:01 a.m. April 1.

Schwazze’s New Mexico Division President Steve Pear said that his team pulled this midnight opening in a matter of a couple weeks once they realized it could open at any hour on April 1.

“Candidly, it’s even bigger than I thought,”He spoke out about the midnight premier.

Las Cruces dispensaries Organ Mountain Organix, and iCanna had also opened at midnight.

These are the three shops that were open at midnight among the dozen or so dispensariesThere are many places in the city that will sell recreational marijuana on their opening day. 

Already, there are 225 licensed retail outlets in New Mexico — though not all will open on Day 1.

More:What amount of cannabis can you grow, possess and purchase in New Mexico relative to the bordering states?

Pear said the Las Cruces cannabis industry is strong.

“This is a very strong market for us as well, and for the cannabis category, just in general, there’s a lot of dispensaries down here, they all do very well,”Pear said. “You’ve got a got a unique population, with a big school down here, and people that have embraced cannabis. Put all that together, and a very strong medical patient base, which we want to continue to build on and want to make sure they don’t feel alienated because rec customers are showing up.”

The state made medical cannabis legal in 2007 and possession of cannabis legal on June 29, 2021.

A connected community

The party vibe was obvious with hundreds of people gathering outside R. Greenleaf. Green lights flashed, bass-heavy music played, and the scent of marijuana inhaling. However, everyone seemed to be patient.

At 12:40 a.m., a Greenleaf staff member announced to those waiting in line that there should be enough product to satisfy everyone.

Dominic Adame stated that New Mexico’s retail sales of recreational cannabis are going to be huge.

“Weed tourism is a real thing,”He said. “Especially since we’re a border state with Texas.”

Many Texans are expected to travel over state lines to purchase cannabis, and Doña Ana County may benefit more than any other New Mexico county because of its proximity to El Paso.

In fact, El Paso had many people in line Friday morning but none wanted to record.

More:Arrest for New Mexico cannabis in Texas These tips are available from attorneys.

New Mexico expects to “generate $300 million annually in sales, create 11,000 jobs and bring in $50 million in state revenue in the first year alone,”The state’s Regulation and Licensing Department released a press release announcing legalization of recreational marijuana sales.

Jamar Wilson, who had a card to buy medical cannabis, was already in line at R. Greenleaf on opening night. Wilson, who served in U.S. Army 2007-2014, stated that he suffers with post traumatic stress disorder. 

“I have a very bad PTSD and (weed) actually helps me slow down and think,”Wilson said.

He stated that legalizing recreational cannabis could benefit the economy and divert people away from harder drugs like opiates.

“It could probably stop a lot of opiate deaths,”Wilson said. “A lot of people are probably reaching out to the wrong thing. Now that they’re making (cannabis) recreational, it’s just that much easier to get.”

What you need to know

Find out where you can use it: Cannabis consumption is restricted to private property and licensed consumption areas indoor only.

Take it slow: Smoking and edibles have varying effect times which differs amongst individuals as well.

Don’t drive high: It is illegal, and you can get ticketed or be charged with a DUI.

Keep it secured: Safeguard your cannabis from children and pets by keeping it out of their reach. Treat it like alcohol.

Must be 21 or older to purchase and consume cannabis.

Learn the laws of your area: Local ordinances vary so best to research before visiting. 

What is allowed in New Mexico

  • Two ounces of cannabis flowers
  • 16 grams of cannabis extract
  • 800 mg edible cannabis
  • and six mature and six immature plants per person (total household limit of 12 plants).
  • Miranda Cyr, a Report for America Corps member, can reached at [email protected] or @mirandacyr on Twitter. Show your support for Report for America at https://bit.ly/LCSNRFA.


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