New Mexico likely to run out of cannabis after legal sales begin
By Robert Nott
The head of the state agency charged with overseeing New Mexico's upcoming recreational cannabis industry told lawmakers to prepare for the "Krispy Kreme syndrome."
"It's highly likely we will run out of cannabis in the first week, if not the first two weeks" after legal sales begin, Linda Trujillo, superintendent of the Regulation and Licensing Department, said Monday during a hearing before the Legislature's Economic Development and Policy Committee.
Comparing expectations of the new market, expected to start by April, to reports of people waiting in line for hours before the opening of a new Krispy Kreme franchise, Trujillo said the initial demand will diminish over time.
Based on data culled from other states where recreational cannabis is legal, the state will need nearly 500,000 plants to meet the expected need, Trujillo said.
She cautioned lawmakers they should brace for a growth failure rate of at least 18 percent, which will affect the supply. "It could be higher," she added.
Trujillo and others gave lawmakers an update on the state's preparations for the commercial production and sales of cannabis products, making clear much remains to be done before a Sept. 1 deadline to begin issuing licenses for entrepreneurs.
The Regulation and Licensing Department has not yet released proposed rules for retailers, and its Cannabis Control Division has not yet completed appointments to the Cannabis Regulation Advisory Committee, which is tasked with providing guidance on the industry's rules.
Though a few members of the committee have been named, Trujillo said she is waiting for all members to be chosen before making a final announcement.
“I thought we would have done this months ago," she said. "It's a little disappointing to me that it has taken so long to do it.”