March 6, 2019

An Increase in Cannabis Production Accompanies a Surge in Medically Licensed Patients in New Mexico


The latest official data from New Mexico’s medical market shows that the state’s patient count continued to expand in Q4. Overall sales volume and production was also on the rise in the final quarter of 2018, although the cumulative inventory of New Mexico’s medical cannabis businesses decreased significantly relative to the end of Q3. Still, stability continued to characterize New Mexico’s Spot Index in Q4, both on a weekly and a quarterly basis.

According to the latest quarterly report from the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH), the state’s patient count grew to 67,574 by the end of Q4 2018, up by 15% from 58,782 at the end of Q3. The number of patient transactions recorded decreased, however, by 5% quarter-over-quarter, from almost 655,000 in Q3 to just under 622,000 in Q4.

The price per gram of flower purchased by patients rose to $10.16 in Q4, up from $9.98 in Q3. Average units purchased per patient in Q4 decreased compared to the prior period, to 28.3 from 32.4. According to New Mexico regulators, “one unit of usable cannabis shall consist of one gram of the dried leaves and flowers of the female cannabis plant, or 0.2 grams (200 milligrams) of THC for cannabis-derived products.”

However, despite a smaller number of units purchased per patient in Q4, the total number of units sold increased. In Q4, patients purchased 1,911,204, up from 1,903,712 units in Q3. For 2018, over 7.3 million units of product were sold to patients in New Mexico, up from under 6.8 million in 2017, an increase of 8.1%.

On the supply side, production expanded in Q4, after contracting in the prior period. In Q4, New Mexico regulators counted 13,207 plants in production amongst the state’s 35 LNPPs, with 6,976 harvested for a yield of over 2.9 million grams, or more than 6,560 pounds. Those figures are up compared to 12,741 plants in production in Q3, 6,008 plants harvested, and a quarterly yield of over 2.6 million grams, or more than 5,800 pounds.

Although production increased quarter-over-quarter while the number of “units” sold to patients grew by only 0.4% in the same span, NMDOH data shows that the on-hand supplies of dispensary operations contracted sharply in Q4. The state’s quarterly report shows that about 1.08 million units of flower and bud were in stock at the end of Q4, down by roughly 45% compared to the over 1.94 million grams of plant material in stock at the end of Q3.