Landlord Stigma, High Demand, Lack Of Retail Space, Obstacles Facing New Mexico's Cannabis Market


New Mexico legalized adult-use cannabis in April when Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Cannabis Regulation Act. Two months after recreational cannabis was legalized in the state, medicinal and adult-use sales exceeded $38.5 million. Since sales launched in New Mexico, the industry has been booming and breaking records month after month.

Now New Mexicans have nearly 500 places around the state to buy marijuana products, according to recent data from the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department.

However, some in the industry argue that finding places and owners willing to rent has become a struggle. According to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank, cannabis legalization in some states has resulted in increased commercial real estate demand. “It’s been a challenge, it’s been a challenge from Day 1,” Leonard Salgado, director of business development and expansion for Pecos Valley Production told the Albuquerque Journal. 

Restricted Real Estate Market For Cannabis Retailers 

Landlord stigma, high demand, conflicts between federal and state laws, and various municipal regulations have all contributed to a restricted real estate market for cannabis retailers. Ben Lewinger, executive director of New Mexico’s Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, said “It turns out that ending prohibition is difficult.”

Trishelle Kirk, CEO of Everest Cannabis Co., which has 11 locations around the state said that “while finding properties seems to be getting a bit easier in the months since legalization, there are still some negative beliefs about dispensaries and their clientele that make some landlords hesitant to rent out their spaces (…)There’s a perception that folks that are buying cannabis are lingering or loitering.”

Adam Silverman, vice president of Albuquerque-based commercial real estate company Geltmore, which often works with dispensaries, said he hasn’t had problems with security with his cannabis tenants. “Our poor guy who does cellphone repair has gotten broken into more than the marijuana business,” Silverman noted.

“We have more security cameras and security equipment than any other business,” Kirk added.

Photo By Morgane Perraud On Unsplash.


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