TUCUMCARI, N.M. (KVII) — New Mexico is under a week away from retailers being able to sell recreational marijuana. April 1 will be the opening day for recreational cannabis sales in New Mexico.
Unfortunately, some retailers are concerned they will not be cleared to sell by then.
“Trying to get the number of background checks and paperwork done for everybody during this time frame has been a challenge I'm sure for the state of New Mexico,” said Rachel Hicklin, Owner-Partner of Puff on 66.
New Mexico's cannabis control division does all the regulations from seed to sale of recreational cannabis in the state. With an estimated three hundred million dollar-a-year industry on the horizon, the department has been hard at work.
“This is really an incredible feat. Other states that do this, have not done it as rapidly as we have done it, and have not really tried to make getting this off the ground a priority,” said Victor Reyes, Deputy Superintendent of New Mexico Regulations and Licensing. “But we did because we understood that to really capitalize on the economic opportunity, we had to begin sales as quickly as possible.”
While the state department has licensed over one hundred and nineteen dispensaries already, Reyes did admit that due to backlog, there is a potential that some will still not be ready to sell come April one. Among those in danger of mission opening day is ‘Puff on 66’, a new recreational dispensary that is opening in Tucumcari, New Mexico.
Hicklin said the process has been a challenge, but she is hopeful everything will work out.
“I think eventually everything will come through without any problems," said Hicklin. "So, we are staying hopeful and positive that we will have ours open and running by the first.”
Ideally, Puff on 66 will make its grand opening on April first, but as of now they still have not been licensed by the state's cannabis control division. However, if their April first opening falls through all is not lost.
“Well while new Mexico's recreational date is the first, everybody associates 4/20 with cannabis, so we are really hoping to be open by at least 4/20 which I think is the largest day we will see sales,” said Jaclyn Dominguez, Owner-Partner of Puff on 66.
Puff on 66 is one of five recreational marijuana dispensaries opening within the next month in Tucumcari. These stores plan to capitalize on the high number of tourists that stop through the town to experience life on legendary route sixty-six.