New Mexico Medical Cannabis Thriving Despite Pandemic

New Mexico’s medical cannabis market is thriving this year despite retail restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Full story after the jump.

Mirroring similar stories from around the country, medical cannabis sales are up in New Mexico. Designated as an essential business by the Governor in March, medical cannabis shops must follow statewide restrictions like customers wearing masks and a 25% capacity restriction. Despite the challenges, Jefferson King with Everest Apothecary in Albuquerque told KRQE News that business is up and layoffs have not been necessary at their six stores around the state.

“From June until now we’ve seen a lot of increase like I said probably up to 60 to 75 percent overall. We have a lot of people that are struggling out there and you know we’re here for them and we just want to let them know it’s going to be okay and we’ll get through this.” — Jefferson, via KRQE News

According to the report, New Mexico has over 100,000 registered medical cannabis patients, an increase of 27 percent since June 2019.

“In the first six months of 2020 there were $92 million in sales which is an increase in 55 percent from the same period the previous year,” said Ben Lewinger, Executive Director of the New Mexico Cannabis Chamber of Commerce. “People are also taking the opportunity to use cannabis for other things that it’s proven to work for beyond just qualifying conditions, things like anxiety, stress, insomnia.”

In 2019, New Mexico significantly updated its medical cannabis system, which included adding reciprocity for out-of-state medical cannabis patients, allowing medical cannabis in schools, adding personal production licenses, and allowing patients to renew every three years. The updates also prohibit employers from firing employees for being enrolled in the program.

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