The New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program racked up $106 million in sales in 2018 for a 23% increase over 2017. Patient enrollment grew by 45% from 2017 to 2018 and now counts 67,574 patients in the system. It’s easy to see an imbalance here. The patient count grew faster than sales.
The largest provider in the system Ultra Health said that the problem is plant count limits combined with regulatory hurdles. The company was the largest provider in the state with a market share of 15.4% in 2018 and reporting $16 million in revenue for the year.
“Surpassing $100 million is a great milestone for the Medical Cannabis Program,” said Ultra Health CEO Duke Rodriguez. “However, the industry would have exceeded $212 million if patients were able to purchase an adequate supply of cannabis as allowed for similar patients in Arizona and Colorado.” The belief is that patients are being forced to seek medicine outside of licensed providers which is considered the black market.
Some of the restrictions include purchase limits, potency caps, no reciprocity with patients from other legal states and the inability of producers to offer savings for large purchases. The state’s top five producers accounted for 43% of the reported revenue in 2018 and there are 35 licensed producers. Only 12 grew faster than the overall industry’s pace, while 23 producers fell behind.
|2018 Revenue||$ Increase||2017 % Increase|
|1. Ultra Health||$16,325,711||$5,787,168||55%|
|2. R. Greenleaf||$9,014,260||$320,555||4%|
|4. Sacred Garden||$6,445,460||$3,050,136||90%|
Ultra Health said that under the current medical marijuana program, revenues are projected to reach $131 million by the end of 2019 and patient enrollment is forecast to reach 87,500. The company said that if the program allowed patients to fully access medical cannabis like Arizona and Colorado, the industry could have easily hit $290 million in sales.
“Whether it’s for physical, mental or social well being, every adult presenting themselves should have the full legal right to choose the cannabis products they need, in the quantities they want, from the provider they prefer and at a price they can afford,” said Rodriguez.
A new report from BDS Analytics and Arcviews stated, “Despite inaction on calls to expand access by adding qualifying conditions, the state has made some small improvements to the cannabis program. State officials have simplified the application process for those seeking a medical cannabis card and made other changes to the application process to address complaints of long application backlogs that result in delayed card issuance.”
This article originally appeared in Green Market Report.