The Medical Cannabis Program’s revenues from the first quarter of 2017 reached $19 million, a whopping 86 percent increase over the first quarter of 2016, according to quarterly …
The Medical Cannabis Program’s revenues from the first quarter of 2017 reached $19 million, a whopping 86 percent increase over the first quarter of 2016, according to quarterly reports released by the New Mexico Department of Health.
While the growth rate was 64 percent from 2015 to 2016, the growth rate has accelerated dramatically in the 2017 first quarter. Total revenues for the Medical Cannabis Program in 2017 are projected to exceed $83.5 million. Ultra Health led all 35 producers in organic growth in the first quarter of 2017 with a $1.2 million sales increase and 170 percent surge over the first quarter in 2016, according to a statement from the company. Nineteen other producers experienced positive growth while four were essentially flat over the same period. The remaining producers had too few sales in the first quarter of 2016 to compare.
Six producers had total sales over $1 million for the first quarter of 2017, as compared to only one in the first quarter of 2016. The top five producers that accounted for 38 percent of total sales as reported:
• Ultra Health – $1,963,849
• R. Greenleaf – $1,755,059
• Verdes Foundation – $1,408,264
• New MexiCann – $1,092,880
• Minerva Canna Group –$1,077,352
Of the 12 newest producers who were licensed in October 2015, four have yet to open their doors to patients, according to the statement from Ultra Health.
“Although seeing revenue increase at this rate is impressive, it is important to acknowledge the primary mission of the program: to provide improved patient access, enhanced quality of life, and make affordable medicine readily available,” said Duke Rodríguez, CEO and President of Ultra Health in the statement. “Unfortunately New Mexicans are still paying the highest price for their medicine due to the state’s overly restrictive plant count.”
With more than 35,000 patients in the Medical Cannabis Program, available medicine still lags behind patient demand.
The plant count was last increased to a maximum of 450 plants per producer in April of 2015. At that time there were only 13,574 patients in the program. The plant count limit has remained at the same level while patient enrollment has increased by 157 percent since April 2015 and sales have increased by 222 percent from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2017.
A survey of regional prices for one ounce of medical cannabis indicates New Mexican’s pay the highest price in the area. One ounce of cannabis can be currently purchased in Phoenix, Arizona for approximately $99; Las Vegas, Nevada for $99; Denver, Colorado for $75; and in Albuquerque the lowest ounce price would be approximately $156.
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