Ultra Health, a New Mexico dispensary, composed a report finding that recreational marijuana legalization in New Mexico could bring $412.5 million in its first year. The report also shows that within five years, the state could bring in $677.7 million in revenue. Of those amounts, it is speculated that 40 percent of the sales would be from tourists.
Kelly O’Donnell authored the report and is a former member of Governor Bill Richardson’s administration, according to Albuquerque Business First. She was the director of state tax policy. In her report, O’Donnell estimates that 11,400 new jobs would be created. To help provide information for the purpose of the report, Drug Policy Alliance and Rio Grande Foundation assisted.
The New Mexico medical marijuana program has 27,000 registered patients. It also estimates that 138,000 New Mexicans use marijuana recreationally, which is currently illegal in the state. Of those 138,000, roughly 48,000 are daily marijuana users. This also means that the demand would significantly increase and production would also be required to increase. Currently, the state produces 6.3 metric tons of marijuana.
To create her report, O’Donnell used some data from both Washington and Colorado. Although Colorado is right next door, the numbers projected for New Mexico reflect a smaller market due to the well-established recreational marijuana market in Colorado. It is expected that some Texas residents would cross into New Mexico to obtain and use marijuana legally for recreational purposes.