Cheech and Chong Launch Dreamz Dispensary Partnership in New Mexico

Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin of the iconic comedy duo Cheech and Chong announced their company’s entrance into the New Mexico cannabis market with a statewide partnership. According to a Sept. 14 press release, Dreamz Dispensary is partnering with Cheech and Chong Cannabis Co. to enter the New Mexico market.

The duo celebrated the partnership in a new state market, while remembering what is most important to most consumers. “Our partnership with Dreamz is all about making folks’ lives better through cannabis,” said Chong. “New Mexico deserves the best, and that’s what we’re here to offer.” 

Cheech agreed, as both recently toured dispensaries in the state in recent months to get a closer look. “Together with Dreamz Dispensary, we’re weaving our story into the fabric of New Mexico,” said Marin. “This partnership is about embracing and celebrating local culture.”

Courtesy Cheech and Chong’s Cannabis Co.

Dreamz Dispensary locations span the full length of the state, and you can find them using the company’s dispensary locator. It’s another strategic move by the rapidly-growing company that’s operating in multiple states.

“The Dreamz Partnership with Cheech and Chong brings two powerhouses together,” Dreamz Dispensary CEO John Fisher told High Times. “This collaboration will allow Dreamz Dispensaries to deliver the highest quality cannabis products to the state of New Mexico with the most iconic name in cannabis culture. Together we are creating a unique and memorable experience for all cannabis enthusiasts, ensuring that every visit to Dream Dispensary is an unforgettable journey into the world of Cheech and Chong.”

The company formerly known as Eighth Icon Holdings rebranded as Cheech and Chong’s Cannabis Co. in 2021. Part of the plan was to develop better and more potent products. Bringing in Dreamz Dispensary will put it into the hands of more consumers. The duo has been in the game a lot longer than most, company representatives remind us.

“While some celebrity brands just stick their label on products and call it a day, we’re all about true partnerships,” said Brooke Mangum, CMO of Cheech and Chong’s Cannabis Co. “Our goal is simple: empower outstanding cultivators and retailers with the digital and social credibility they need to stand out against competitors and succeed.” 

The state’s cannabis industry is off to a blazing hot start: Adult-use cannabis sales in New Mexico totaled more than $300 million in the first year of regulated sales, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced last April 3.

Lujan Grisham signed the Cannabis Regulation Act into law two years ago in April 2021, legalizing the use of cannabis for adults and creating a framework for regulated sales. Then one year later, in April 2022, licensed sales of adult-use cannabis began at retail locations across the state. 

As of last April, New Mexico regulators have issued around 2,000 cannabis licenses across New Mexico, including 633 cannabis retailers, 351 producers, 415 micro producers, and 507 manufacturers, the governor’s office reported.

Cheech and Chong’s Cannabis Co. is a Family-Run Business

Cheech and Chong Cannabis Co. is a family-run business, with numerous brands and product lines. The brands include Cheech & Chong’s, Cheech’s Stash, Tommy Chong’s Cannabis, and their delivery service Cheech & Chong’s Takeout, featuring THC and CBD products delivered to your door.

That includes flower lines like Lowrider, Yesca, Ahhberry, and Love Machine. On the website, you can read about the terpene profiles. Love Machine, for instance, is loaded with myrcene and ocimene, while Ahhberry is loaded with terpinolene and linalool.

Cosmic, Cheech and Chong Cannabis Co.’s concentrate line, features sugar, badder, diamonds, sauce, and disposable carts.

The company also operates with many partnerships. Last July, High Times reviewed the Cheech & Chong Mambo Herb Stick from XVape. They also partnered with Z2 Comics to release their own comic book line. Cheech and Chong’s Chronicles: A Brief History of Weed was released in a soft and hardcover editions in finer comic shops and bookstores on April 20, 2022. 

Chong has appeared in High Times numerous times, most recently in 2021, and you map their growth as artists throughout old interviews, when their fame first exploded. (You can read this scintillating interview of both comedians with former editor Ed Dwyer from the August, 1980 issue of High Times magazine, for instance, or Chong’s vivid 2020 account of Operation Pipe Dreams and unjust prison time with the real Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belafonte.)

Cheech and Chong’s Cannabis Co. and Dreamz Dispensary’s partnership marks a new shift into the state of New Mexico, which holds high potential for economic rewards as its industry unfolds.

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Researchers Lead First Pilot Study on MDMA Treatment For New Mothers

A study on MDMA treatment for new mothers, which launched in the spring, is being led by Dr. Larry Leeman, the medical director of the University of New Mexico’s Milagro Program.

Leeman “treats expectant mothers experiencing opioid use disorder,” and “was dismayed to see that many of his patients eventually resumed opioid use due untreated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),” according to a press release from the university on the study.

“Now, Leeman and his colleagues are launching a first-of-its-kind pilot study to see whether a regimen of trauma-focused therapy coupled with doses of MDMA – popularly known to rave participants as ecstasy or molly – can help new mothers permanently overcome their drug dependency,” the press release said.

In an interview this week with local news station KOB, Leeman explained that New Mexico is “one of the epicenters of the opioid epidemic.”

A study from the New Mexico Department of Health in 2019 found that nearly two-thirds of those living in the state know someone who is or has been addicted to opioids. According to the agency, New Mexico was the “first state to approve naloxone for use by laypeople and has statewide standing orders for law enforcement to carry and pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription.”

“We know that our communities often have collective intergenerational trauma here and most of the research that’s happening in psychedelic assisted therapy has happened in John Hopkins, it happens in Yale, it happens in different places. This is the first study and its happening here in New Mexico,” Leeman told the station.

The study, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, “will enroll 15 people with diagnoses of moderate to severe PTSD six to 12 months after they have given birth,” the university said. 

Participants in the study “will receive 12 weeks of intensive therapy and three medication sessions.”

“The project, funded through private donations, will assess whether MDMA-assisted therapy can help the mothers overcome their addictions and improve bonding with their infants,” the university explained earlier this year. “Leeman’s team is collaborating with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which is supplying the MDMA used in the pilot. He noted that when the MDMA is purchased on the street it is often dangerously adulterated with other drugs, such as methamphetamine.”

In his interview this week with KOB, Leeman explained that MDMA is a “psychedelic type of drug that is different from classical psychedelics, such as psilocybin in that it really focuses on opening people up to be able to process their trauma.”

“Our hope for using MDMA assisted therapy is to treat that trauma, decrease the likelihood of using opioids again and kind of help set up the mother and the baby and the family for a life that really what everybody who’s using opioids wants, which is not to be using and to be able to be there and be fully present for their babies,” Leeman told the station.

The press release announcing the study earlier this year noted that “MDMA has complex effects, including some that are similar to classic psychedelics, such as psilocybin, which tamps down the brain’s default mode network and may interrupt trauma-driven rumination,” and that “MDMA temporarily increases production of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes a sense of connectedness.”

“Addiction has been described as the opposite of ‘connection,’” Leeman said at the time. “Another proposed mechanism of psychedelic-assisted therapies for addiction is that they increase participants’ connections with self, including emotions, values and life meaning, connection to others – family and community – and connection to the world and universe, which includes connection with nature and the feeling that everything is interconnected.”

“What the MDMA-assisted therapy does is take away their fear for a short period of time,” Leeman added. “During that time, they have the ability to process the trauma that has led to their PTSD and which have never been able to process. It’s a bit of a redo in helping people heal in ways that may improve their ability to bond with their baby.”

Academic research into psychedelic therapies continues to blossom, with local and state governments across the country also increasingly signaling an openness to what was once taboo. 

A recent study led by researchers from NYU Langone Center for Psychedelic Medicine in New York found that MDMA could be an effective treatment for various mental health conditions, and that it could also yield benefits when used in concert with other psychedelics. 

Relative to psilocybin/LSD alone, co-use of psilocybin/LSD with a self-reported low (but not medium–high) dose of MDMA was associated with significantly less intense total challenging experiences, grief, and fear, as well as increased self-compassion, love, and gratitude,” the researchers wrote.

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5 Big Moments in Cannabis History

First Known Mention in Pharmacopoeia, circa 2800 B.C.


There’s plenty of evidence to suggest the ancient use of cannabis in multiple civilizations, dating back 10,000 years and beyond. According to the University of Sydney’s Lambert Initiative, Emperor Shennong’s pharmacopeia Classic of the Materia Medica was one of the first to formally list cannabis as a medicine circa 2800 B.C. (It also introduced acupuncture and 365 herbal medicines like ginseng.) Emperor Fu Hsi, whom the Chinese credit with “bringing civilization” to China, mentioned “ma,” which may have referred to cannabis 100 years earlier.

First Arrest Under Marihuana Tax Act, 1937


We’re far from seeing the last cannabis prisoner, but we know who was the first. Ironically adult-use pioneer state Colorado was where the first cannabis arrest took place. One day after the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 went into effect, Moses Baca, 23, was arrested in Denver, Colorado. Police allegedly found a quarter-ounce of reefer in his drawer at a rooming house as they were arresting him for a “drunk & disturbance” charge. A few days later, bootlegger Samuel R. Caldwell, was also arrested and charged with selling marijuana. Baca served about 18 months in the U.S. Penitentiary, Leavenworth in Kansas, the same place Caldwell was held.

First U.S. Medical Cannabis Patient, 1976


One year after getting busted for growing pot, Washington, D.C. Superior Court Judge James A. Washington ruled on Nov. 24, 1976 that Robert Randall had established a defense of medical necessity to use cannabis for his glaucoma. Randall then became the nation’s first medical cannabis patient and received a regular supply of 300 joints per month provided by the federal government from their cultivation site at the University of Mississippi. Randall’s case eventually led to the FDA’s Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program (IND Program) which allows certain people to get experimental cannabis treatments before they have gone through rigorous approvals.

First State Medical Cannabis Law, 1996


New Mexico was the first state to recognize the medical properties of cannabis, establishing a therapeutic research program for glaucoma and chemotherapy on Feb. 21, 1978. But it was California’s Proposition 215, which created the first major statewide medical cannabis program, and resulted in the biggest change. California voters approved Prop. 215 with over 55% in favor via an initiative on November 5, 1996. This established a blueprint for dozens of other states to follow. Proposition 215 was authored by Dennis Peron, Anna Boyce, John Entwistle, Jr., Valerie Corral, Dale Gieringer, William Panzer, Scott Tracy Imler, Leo Paoli, and Tod H. Mikuriya.

First Country to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis, 2013


Uruguay became the first country to legalize the cultivation, sale, and possession of cannabis on Dec. 10, 2013. Uruguay decriminalized possession of the plant in 1974, but it took a lot of time to move forward to the legalization of possession and sale. Nearly one year later in August 2014, Uruguay legalized the cultivation of up to six plants at home, and formed cannabis social clubs and state-controlled cannabis dispensaries. It would take about four years for the country to finalize regulations.

This article was originally published in the June 2023 issue of High Times Magazine.

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We’re Going Live for the High Times Cannabis Cup New Mexico: People’s Choice Edition 2023

The Land of Enchantment is about to get a lot more enchanting with this extra special announcement. The pandemic may have temporarily put a halt to in-person events and concerts, but High Times is extremely proud to announce that New Mexico will be the location of our first in-person People’s Choice Cannabis Cup celebration.

In March, we announced the arrival of our High Times Cannabis Cup New Mexico: People’s Choice Edition 2023. We typically hold digital award shows to celebrate each of our Cannabis Cup winners—but not this time. Not only is this the first High Times Cannabis Cup People’s Choice Edition to be held in New Mexico, but on Monday, September 4, it will also be the very first live and in-person awards event since the pandemic.

This event is co-produced by High Times, Fusion Promotions, and 101.3 The Hustle.

Join us for a thrilling in-person awards ceremony at the Rio Rancho Events Center and be the first to see which New Mexico cannabis products impressed the judges. Even better, we’re partnering up with Method Man and Redman to welcome in New Mexico’s first Cannabis Cup winners in our High Times Cannabis Cup Hall of Fame with a live performance as well.

To attend this monumental live event, those who purchase a New Mexico Cannabis Cup judge kit will receive a 30% discount on live show tickets (which can be applied to two tickets). 

Ticket presale dates have already begun, and end on Friday, June 23. In order to redeem the discount, attendees must call the Rio Rancho Event Center Box Office at (505) 891-7319, and provide the 14-digit code on the right side of the judge kit coupon. 

High Times Cannabis Cup New Mexico: People’s Choice Edition 2023 judge kits are available now through Aug. 20 while supplies last. Potential judges can seek out a judge kit at a variety of exclusive judge kit retailers, including Pecos Valley locations (also our intake partner), Enchanted Botanicals Cannabis, Urban Wellness, Higher Purpose Apothecary, Prohibition 37, Purlife, and Wheeed! but you can find plenty of details for each participating location at

Our goal is put the spotlight on some of the best cannabis products available in the state of New Mexico. Our very own High Times VP of Events Mark Kazinec explained to local New Mexico news source KOB 4 that the Cannabis Cup is a celebration of cannabis for everyone. “Anybody from the OG growers who know how to talk about terpene profiles, to the soccer moms who are trading their glass of wine for a joint at the end of the night. We want their comments, their feedback,” Kazinec told KOB 4.

The High Times Cannabis Cup New Mexico: People’s Choice Edition 2023 is presented by Elevated, and supported by our Gold Sponsor: Enchanted Botanicals Cannabis, Silver Sponsor: Ghost., Bronze Sponsor: GH-Labs, and General Sponsor: Mountaintop Extracts (also named one of High Times’s 22 Best Brands of 2022).

2023 is gearing up to be a memorable year for the High Times Cannabis Cup People’s Choice Edition so far. 

In January we announced the return of the High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan: People’s Choice Edition, with winners set to be announced soon on July 9. This follows the Michigan People’s Choice Edition competition we held in 2021 and 2022

In March we also announced the return of the High Times Cannabis Cup SoCal: People’s Choice Edition with a digital awards stream set for July 24. In Southern California we’ve had a long and proud history of Cannabis Cups, three of which were People’s Choice Edition competitions in 2021 and 2022.

Finally and most recently in May, we announced the High Times Cannabis Cup Oregon: People’s Choice Edition 2023, with winners being announced later this year on Oct. 9. Check out what brands won at our previous People’s Choice Edition competitions in 2021.

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There Are Now More Cannabis Dispensaries Than Liquor Stores in Albuquerque

The city of Albuquerque now has more cannabis dispensaries than liquor stores open, KRQE News reports. New Mexico became the 18th state to legalize adult-use cannabis in 2021. They were the fifth to do so through the legislative process versus voter initiative. The law went into effect on June 29, 2021, making the announcement regarding cannabis shops news almost a year after marijuana became legal. However, the high number of stores is causing conflict between owners and turning local industry members against one another in a fight to stay alive. 

“We were coming down to our very last, you know, of our financial security. And just in time we opened up and it’s, it’s been a blessing,” Andre Galarza told KRQE News about his family-owned cannabis brick-and-mortar, 505 Farms, which opened on Lomas Boulevard in December 2022. “We literally put our entire retirement, mine and hers. And we are literally what you call all in, like all in,” Galarza continued. Because their store is a cannabis microbusiness, they can only grow 200 plants at a time. “We only support New Mexico grown, New Mexico extracted, New Mexico business, period,” Galarza stressed to KRQE News.

While, in the ever-present battle between booze-hounds and potheads, this news from New Mexico is a win for the stoners, it doesn’t mean that starting a cannabis business in New Mexico has been easy. Like any other legal state (read about the mass exodus from California), marijuana shops must deal with extensive red tape and ongoing hurdles to survive in this cut-throat industry. 

With more cannabis stores open than alcohol stores, Galarza and everyone else must deal with the competition in an industry flooded with players. The small business owner recently learned that an even bigger dispensary, ReLeaf Cannabis Company, is set to move two blocks away from 505 Farms into a former car lot.

Previously, Albuquerque denied the ReLeaf Cannabis Company the Lomas Boulevard location, as it was within 600 feet of 505 Farms, which broke a rule. However, along with a handful of other cannabis business owners on the street, ReLeaf Cannabis Company demanded the zoning hearing examiner make an exception to the rule and attended the hearing to stand up for themselves and make a case. ReLeaf Cannabis Company made the case that by using a vacant old car lot, they would be upgrading and improving Albuquerque. “We would be obviously putting back into it – into the community, redeveloping this area. They also employ local folks,” Johnn Osborn, a local cannabis attorney, explained, according to KRQE News.  

It worked. Two weeks later, Galarza learned that Releaf Cannabis Company was cleared to set up shop nearby. However, as an insight into the ongoing litigation the high number of stores is driving, Galarza is currently working on appealing the decision. The city of Albuquerque is now wading through twenty other requests for exemptions to the 600-foot rule, fourteen of which they have granted, showing that, while it might create conflict between business owners, the New Mexico cannabis industry is sailing at full speed ahead. “The number of stores, the number of licenses statewide, has far exceeded even the most optimistic projections we had when we were looking at what we thought this might be before the law passed,” says Pat Davis, City Council President and co-founder of Weeds Cannabis Consulting Service, KRQE reports. 

So, while this may be good news for the cannabis industry on a large picture, smaller business owners such as 505 Farms fear they will have to shut down as the big guys take over. “If they were to open up next door, we’re pretty much done,” Galarza told KRQE. “I mean, a small business such as myself, can’t battle something that big, right? It’s not possible. Yeah, there’s no sleep. I mean, it’s terrifying.”

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New Mexico Cannabis Jobs Pay More Than Accommodation, Food Service

A recent report published by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions shows that individuals—specifically ex-accommodation and food service employees—who recently took up jobs in the cannabis industry were paid more than they were in previous job roles.

The report stated that as of the fourth quarter of 2022, there were 151 cannabis dispensaries in New Mexico and 112 were operating as a recreational dispensary or online platform. There were also a recorded 21 cannabis businesses licensed to cultivate, 10 processors, four wholesale trade, and four categorized as “all other sectors.”

With that data in mind, the state employed 4,666 workers within that time frame, with 4,122 working in firms and 171 in cultivation. The cannabis firms were most commonly found in Bernalillo County, followed by Doña Ana County, Santa Fe County, and San Juan County.

New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions broke down cannabis employment data in comparison to non-cannabis jobs. The agency wrote that 39.3% of New Mexico jobs during Q4 2022 were cannabis related, whereas 35.5% of the state’s job force was working in other industries. This includes trade, transportation, and utilities (11.1%), leisure and hospitality (8.4%), education and health services (4.4%), professional and business services (4.2%), and numerous other categories that fall at two percent or less.

One line graph compared the cannabis and non-cannabis wage records. “One reason why members of this cohort may have left their previous place of employment to work in the cannabis industry is to earn higher wages,” the report stated. “Analyzing their wage records shows that their average weekly wage increased once they joined the cannabis industry.”

In Q4 2022, the average cannabis worker was receiving $560 per week in wages. “We then compared this average weekly wage to the wages of all workers working for privately-owned firms in the fourth quarter 2022,” the authors continued. “All industry sectors had an average weekly wage higher than $560 except for accommodation and food service. That industry had an average weekly wage of $474, a difference of $86. The data shows that for some people, the grass is greener in the cannabis industry.”

As of April 2023, New Mexico’s recreational cannabis industry collected more than $300 million. Recreational cannabis sales went into effect in April 2022, and within that year, regulators issued an estimated 2,000 cannabis licenses across the state (633 retail licenses, 351 producers, 415 micro producers, and 507 manufacturers). “In just one year, hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity has been generated in communities across the state, the number of businesses continues to increase, and thousands of New Mexicans are employed by this new industry,” said New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham in April. “I’m excited to see what the future holds as we continue to develop an innovative and safe adult-use cannabis industry.”

In April, the cannabis job data company Vangst released an annual report about the growth and decline of jobs in specific cannabis markets. The top states for cannabis job growth included New Mexico among others such as Missouri, Michigan, New Jersey, Florida, Montana, Ohio, Massachusetts, Maine, and Illinois. In 2022, it showed that New Mexico gained 2,532 cannabis jobs, which is a 63% gain compared to the previous year. As of February 2023, total cannabis jobs sat at 6,565.

While Vangst data showed that because more states like New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Montana have legal medical and/or recreational industries, states like Colorado have begun to see a decline in jobs. Overall, the states that lost the most cannabis jobs included California (12,600 jobs lost), Colorado (10,481), Oklahoma (7,224), Oregon (4,278), Nevada (3,276), and Arizona (1,737).

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CannaCon New Mexico Taps into State’s Growing Cannabis Market

CannaCon New Mexico, one of the most anticipated cannabis industry events in the state, recently concluded with great success. Held in Albuquerque over the course of two days, from May 19-20, the event brought together professionals, enthusiasts and experts from the cannabis industry to discuss and showcase the latest trends, innovations and regulations in the rapidly growing market.

The event kicked off Thursday evening with a networking event presented by the New Mexico Cannabis Chamber of Commerce at Juno Brewery. Attendees and exhibitors packed the venue to network and discuss the growing New Mexico cannabis market. Attendees were treated to a series of engaging panel discussions and educational sessions covering a wide range of topics, including cultivation techniques, extraction methods, product development, branding, marketing and compliance.

One of the main highlights of CannaCon New Mexico was the bustling expo floor, where exhibitors from various sectors showcased their products and services. The expo featured state-of-the-art cultivation equipment, innovative extraction technologies, packaging solutions, marketing agencies specializing in the cannabis industry and much more. Participants had the opportunity to connect with vendors, explore new business opportunities and stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the market.

Throughout CannCon New Mexico, networking opportunities were plentiful, allowing attendees to forge valuable connections with industry professionals, potential investors and like-minded individuals. This facilitated the exchange of ideas, collaborations and the formation of strategic partnerships, fostering growth and innovation within the cannabis community.

In addition to the educational and business-focused aspects, CannaCon New Mexico offered an afterparty presented by Mountaintop Extracts. Live DJ performances, dance competitions and exciting games provided the party attendees with a fun-filled night, fostering a sense of community.

Overall, CannaCon New Mexico 2023 was a resounding success, bringing together industry leaders, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts in a dynamic and informative setting. The event not only showcased the latest innovations and trends in the cannabis industry, but also facilitated meaningful connections and provided a platform for collaboration. As New Mexico’s cannabis market continues to expand, events like CannaCon play a vital role in shaping the industry and paving the way for a thriving and responsible cannabis ecosystem in the state.

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New Mexico Supreme Court Case Hearing Addresses Cannabis Impairment

On May 16, the New Mexico Supreme Court oversaw arguments on the topic of roadside cannabis testing. According to Santa Fe New Mexican, Nina Luna was pulled over by a law enforcement officer in Albuquerque in 2018. The officer described in his report that Luna had red, watery eyes and slurred speech, and smelled cannabis odor coming from inside her vehicle.

Although Luna stated that she had smoked “a bowl” hours before driving, the officer conducted a field sobriety test, which is designed to determine alcohol impairment. After performing “poorly” on the field test, Luna was convicted of driving under the influence, as well as speeding. 

During the most recent supreme court case, Luna’s public defender argued that the field sobriety test she received should not be admitted as evidence because it does not properly measure cannabis impairment.

Luna’s attorney also asked the Bernalillo County Metro Court that the officer’s testimony be suppressed because he’s not an expert in drug-recognition but was denied. The state District Court ruled that “a reasonable fact-finder could conclude … [Luna] was influenced by drugs to such a degree that she could not safely operate a motor vehicle.”

The state Court of Appeals echoed that decision in 2021. “Administration of field sobriety tests is a reasonable part of an investigation where the officer has reasonable suspicion the person was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs…defendant has not convinced us expert testimony from a drug recognition expert was required,” wrote Court of Appeals Judge J. Miles Hanisee.

In December 2022, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, which led to the events of the most recent hearing on May 16. Luna’s appellate attorney, Luz Valverde, was questioned about evidence of impairment. “What about a circumstance like here, where there’s overwhelming compelling evidence…a person was impaired?” asked Justice David Thomson.

In response, Valverde stated that the evidence in Luna’s case was not compelling. “I would disagree…that the evidence was overwhelming, especially in light of recent studies that show that impairment is so hard to determine based on [field sobriety tests],” Valverde said. 

Valverde continued to discuss that while officers should be able to testify about their observations as laypeople (or non-qualified people within the legal system), but shouldn’t make claims about a person who passed or failed, or claim that pupil size is relative to impairment without any kind of training.

Assistant General Meryl Francolini argued against disqualifying an officer’s testimony because of lack of training, stating that the 2021 Court of Appeals ruling from a Florida case stated that field sobriety tests are “easily understood tests that a layperson can observe and identify signs of impairment.”

“The officer did not need to be a [drug recognition expert] to give the testimony in this case, and any holding to the contrary I think would have pretty dire consequences in the trial courts,” said Francolini. “If this court were to hold that a nontrained officer [in drug recognition] is just totally unqualified to connect signs of impairment to a drug, when he knows what the drug is because he smelled it and the defendant told him that she used it, that’s a slippery slope.”

A ruling was not issued during or directly after the May 16 hearing.

Verifying cannabis impairment is no simple task. A study from May 2022 determined that THC found in blood or breath tests does not indicate impairment. A Canada study from April 2021 emphasized a need for accurate methods of detecting impairment while driving. “We know that cannabis has an impact on driving,” said the study’s lead author, Sarah Windle. “Detecting cannabis, it doesn’t necessarily correspond directly to impairment. That’s a big, big challenge in this literature. At what level is somebody really impaired and it seems that varies on many factors: by (the) individual, by their level of tolerance, how often are they using, what kind of cannabis and its potency are they using.”

In February, a Maryland police department started inviting cannabis consumers to its training academy to demonstrate driving impairment in exchange for water, snacks, and pizza. “Participants are then used as test subjects for officers trying to determine whether someone is too high to drive. That’s not easy. Unlike people who drive drunk, and whose impairment can be quantified by breathalyzers and blood-alcohol tests, it’s more difficult to discern with pot,” wrote The Washington Post in a report.

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New Mexico Recreational Cannabis Sales Top $300 Million In First Year

Recreational marijuana sales in New Mexico totaled more than $300 million in the first year of regulated adult-use cannabis sales, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced on April 3.

Lujan Grisham signed the Cannabis Regulation Act into law in April 2021, legalizing the use of marijuana for adults and creating a framework for regulated sales of adult-use cannabis. Only one year later, in April 2022, licensed sales of recreational marijuana began at regulated dispensaries in the state. Since then, New Mexico regulators have issued around 2,000 cannabis licenses across New Mexico, including 633 cannabis retailers, 351 producers, 415 micro producers, and 507 manufacturers, the governor’s office reported.

“In just one year, hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity has been generated in communities across the state, the number of businesses continues to increase, and thousands of New Mexicans are employed by this new industry,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement on April 3. “I’m excited to see what the future holds as we continue to develop an innovative and safe adult-use cannabis industry.”

$27 Million In Cannabis Taxes

Monthly sales of recreational cannabis have remained steady in the first year of legalization, with last month showing the highest monthly total at $32.3 million. More than 10 million recreational cannabis sales transactions have been made over the last year, generating more than $27 million in cannabis excise taxes for the state general fund and local communities.

The large cities of Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe saw the strongest recreational cannabis sales, while the smaller communities of Clovis, Farmington and Ruidoso each saw more than $7 million in adult-use sales. Retailers in towns along the border with Texas, where recreational marijuana is still illegal, also recorded strong sales of adult-use cannabis.

“I’m beyond thrilled that the industry has gotten off to such a strong start,” Javier Martínez, a Democratic legislator who advocated for legalization for years, told the Albuquerque Journal. “We [legalized] it the right way.”

Last week, Linda M. Trujillo, the superintendent of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, noted the strong growth of New Mexico’s adult-use cannabis industry in the first year of sales, adding that the agency would begin expanding regulatory enforcement in the coming months.

“There’s over 2,500 individuals that have a controlling share in a cannabis business,” said Trujillo, who is currently overseeing the Cannabis Control Division (CCD) after the recent departure of its acting director. “Now, we know that the next step is compliance, and we’ve been building the compliance aspect over the course of the last year.”

Reilly White, an associate professor of finance at the University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management, cited several factors that led to a strong first year for the state’s adult-use cannabis industry.

“Strong consumer spending and historically low unemployment in New Mexico…encouraged the growth of recreational marijuana, and cannabis taxes have provided an additional state and municipal revenue source,” White said.

Market analysts believe that New Mexico’s cannabis industry may undergo some correction during the second year, which could lead some dispensaries across the state to cease operations. But many are still confident in the potential for the long-term growth of the state’s industry.

“Cannabis in New Mexico has a clear pathway to grow to more than a half billion dollars per year, especially as we compare the sales to states that legalized years ago,” White said. “But the road will get rocky ahead—many businesses may find their operations unsustainable as market saturation limits their growth. Uncertainty in the economic outlook is also a factor, particularly since it’s not clear how much consumers would cut back on recreational sales during times of economic stress. As the market matures, the industry will consolidate around the most successful companies with the greatest success in New Mexico.”

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Announcing the High Times Cannabis Cup New Mexico: People’s Choice Edition 2023

What has a plentiful landscape of natural beauty, is famous for hatch green chiles, is the birthplace of Neil Patrick Harris, is the current residence to author George R.R. Martin (seriously, he has a day held in his honor annually on March 29), has a multitude of culture, and is also home to a bustling cannabis scene? We are proud to announce that we’ll be expanding our popular cannabis competition to New Mexico for the very first time! Welcome to the High Times Cannabis Cup New Mexico: People’s Choice Edition 2023.

New Mexico adult-use cannabis sales launched on April 1, 2022. On that day alone, consumers swarmed nearby dispensaries with a huge $3 million in sales during its first weekend and has kept a steady rise in sales ever since. Nearly one year later, the industry is thriving, and we know you’re ready to dive into some of the state’s best products.

For New Mexican consumers, here’s the deal: you have the power! Pick up one of our judge kits from our retail partners at Pecos Valley Productions (more to be announced soon) starting on June 17 through Aug. 20. We have 11 categories available for this cup:

Entry Categories:

  1. Indica Flower (2 entries max per company)
  2. Sativa Flower (2 entries max per company)  
  3. Hybrid Flower (2 entries max per company) 
  4. Pre-Rolls (2 entries max per company) 
  5. Infused Pre-Rolls (1 entry max per company) 
  6. Solvent Concentrates (2 entries max per company) 
  7. Non-Solvent Concentrates (2 entries max per company) 
  8. Vape Pens & Cartridges (2 entries max per company) (category may split) 
  9. Edibles: Gummies & Fruit Chews (2 entries max per company)
  10. Edibles: Chocolates & Non-Gummies (2 entries max per company)
  11. Sublinguals, Capsules, Tinctures + Topicals (3 entries max per company)

After you pick up your judge kit, log in to our online judge’s portal and let your comments be known. Depending on the category, judges are invited to carefully analyze their products with numerous criteria in mind. The aesthetics of a product and its packaging, aroma/scent, taste/flavor profile, and effects/effectiveness are just a few things we ask judges to consider. Depending on each product’s overall scores, we calculate which ones were most praised by judges, and will announce winners via a digital awards show on Sept. 3.

The goal of our People’s Choice Edition competition is to help put the spotlight and some of the most unique and one-of-a-kind products throughout the state. For those who want to enter the competition, you can submit your products to our intake partner, Pecos Valley Productions, between June 5-7. There are some rules for entry though, so please review the following information carefully:

Entry Requirements:

  • Flower: (228) 1-gram samples. We will not accept any 3.5-gram entries.
  • Pre-Rolls & Infused Pre-Rolls: (228) samples: Pre-Rolls will be capped at 2g flower-only each; Infused Pre-Rolls will be capped at 3g flower equivalency or 1g concentrate equivalency each.
  • Concentrates & Vape Pens: (228) .5-gram samples. We will not accept any 1-gram entries. Batteries required for carts.
  • Edibles: (100) samples with 50mg THC max.
  • Sublinguals, Capsules, Tinctures + Topicals: (60) samples with 100mg THC max.

The price for one entry is set at $250, which is non-refundable. Two entries are marked at $100 each, also non-refundable. However, if you submit three or more entries, each entry is $100 and it is a refundable deposit per entry held. You can get refunded when all entries are successfully submitted, and those fees are waived if you choose to become a sponsor of our event.

As a reminder for competitors, email ASAP for information on how to compete, and for judges, please visit to sign up for updates on how to be a judge.

A special thank you to our partners and sponsors!

Official Intake Partner: Pecos Valley Production

Powered by: Fusion Promotions

The post Announcing the High Times Cannabis Cup New Mexico: People’s Choice Edition 2023 appeared first on High Times.