Will New Mexico Have Enough Weed for the Launch of Adult-Use Sales?
With the launch of recreational cannabis sales in New Mexico slated for April 1, state officials say that cultivators are currently growing more than one million cannabis plants. But with the opening of dispensaries now only days away, industry insiders are questioning the state’s figures and wondering if there will be sufficient supplies of cannabis for consumers and medical patients. This week, the state Regulation and Licensing Department’s Cannabis Control Division (CCD) announced that licensed cannabis growers have entered 1,013,178 mature plants into a statewide tracking system. The figure is more than twice as many plants as state officials estimate will be needed to serve the state’s 132,000 registered medical cannabis patients and recreational customers. Last summer, Linda Trujillo, superintendent of the Regulation and Licensing Department, told lawmakers that the cannabis industry will need about 500,000 plants to satisfy demand. But some representatives of the state’s cannabis industry have questioned the number of plants in cultivation reported by state officials. Duke Rodriguez, president and CEO of New Mexico Top Organics-Ultra Health, told the Santa Fe New Mexican that the number is “impossible,” saying that it would require “football fields after football fields” of land to grow that many cannabis plants. Jason Greathouse, co-owner of Roswell-based Pecos Valley Production, also expressed disbelief at the state’s plant count. “If there are a million cannabis plants in the state, I don’t know where they are,” said Greathouse. “Are they legal plants? Are they illegal plants?” “I only have 3,000 plants in the ground,” he added, although he plans to have 20,000 by June. Heather Brewer, a spokeswoman for the CCD, said on Tuesday that the state’s plant total is accurate, noting that it reflects information from the state’s seed-to-sale tracking system BioTrack. The data is entered by cannabis cultivators themselves, so “assuming all the…
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