LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) — As of Friday, recreational marijuana is now legal in New Mexico, bringing sales of cannabis right to the doorstep of Texas.
People began waiting in long lines at R. Greenleaf dispensary that opened at midnight in Las Cruces. Some waited as many as six hours in line.
Las Cruces resident Jeremy Sandoval became the first person in the store at midnight; he’d been waiting outside since 6:30 p.m. to be the first to buy recreational marijuana after the clock struck midnight.
“Definitely a part of history. It’s a milestone we’ve all been waiting for, and we finally crossed it,” Sandoval said.
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The line stretched around the building and lasted long after the doors opened to sales.
“There’s four or five hundred people out there, it’s midnight, and there’s more coming…. that’s exciting,” Steve Pear, President of Shwazze New Mexico Division, told KTSM.
Cannabis retailers say they brought in three times what they sell in a typical week in Las Cruces just for the weekend.
“That’s a lot, but we’re also prepared to bring product down here if we need to, to get through the weekend,” Pear explained.
The R. Greenleaf in Las Cruces was the first dispensary to open its doors at 12:01 a.m. due to Las Cruces not having established operational hour time restrictions for selling cannabis.
“We found out that there weren’t operating hours set, and we wanted to take advantage of being able to sell at midnight,” Manuel Martinez, a Las Cruces resident, told KTSM early Friday morning. “It’s amazing that this is actually happening. Nobody thought this day would come.”
The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department reminds the community that the only place you can consume cannabis is in your home if you are 21 or older.
“You want to make sure you’re not sharing it with youngsters under the 21,” Peter Skowronski with the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department explained. “No different than giving alcohol to someone under the age of 21 also, understand that there’s going to be edibles and other issues like that and were a little concerned about youngsters having that type of stuff too.”
Store owners in Las Cruces say they’re prepared to stay open until 9 p.m. Friday, depending on demand.