On Friday, April 1, 2022, recreational cannabis will finally hit the shelves in New Mexico.
Starting that day, all 118 operating medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to sell adult-use products to anyone 21 or older.
Take the time to understand your equipment while you’re in the store. It will save you a lot of frustration later.
The launch of the legal market in the Land of Enchantment will bring plenty of business, fun and new access to medicine. But for many first-time customers, knowing where to start can be challenging. If your experience has been limited to old-fashioned dime bags, a whole new world of high-quality cannabis products is about to appear before you.
Fear not. We’ve got your back. Check out the sections below for answers to many of your questions. We’ve listed the newest and most popular cannabis products in New Mexico—as well as suggestions for which products might be right for you.
New Mexico’s legal weed stores open April 1. Here’s what you need to know
Trust us, your busy budtenders (dispensary employees who fill your order) will thank you for arriving with the basics under your belt.
Read on to make sure your first experience buying New Mexico cannabis is stress-free, well-informed and fun.
Important note: New Mexico law allows you to buy 2 ounces of cannabis, 16 grams of cannabis extract, or up to 800 milligrams of edible cannabis, at one time. Your budtender will keep track of your total for you.
Flower and pre-rolls
Welcome to the world of legal cannabis, where regular weed is known as flower, and professionally rolled joints are called pre-rolls.
Flower is sold in various quantities, from one gram (enough for one large joint, or two smaller ones) to a full ounce (28 grams). It’s often sold pre-packaged, although some stores display their cannabis in “deli-style” jars behind a counter, so budtenders can select your nuggets by hand.
Cannabis flower is often categorized as indica, sativa, or hybrid. Check out our great explainer on those designations here.
A cannabis flower brand or grower indicates who produced the flower. The flower strain indicates the specific type of flower. More on that here.
What is cannabis and what is a cannabis strain?
New Mexico’s cannabis providers are enormously proud of their flower. While much of it is grown indoors, some companies use greenhouses and hoop houses as well. There’s a ton of variety. Many shops focus on classics like Blue Dream, Wedding Cake and Leafly’s 2021 Strain of the Year Dosidos, while others relish in rare and exotic strains, and even craft their own genetics.
Flower can also be purchased in pre-rolled joints, which are typically sold in half-gram or gram sizes.
Like all cannabis products, flower can elicit a range of effects, including mental stimulation and an energetic cerebral buzz. It can also relax your muscles and make it easier to sleep.
In New Mexico, licensed stores are prohibited from selling flower that contains more than 35% THC.
Be sure to ask budtenders about the strains and THC potency ranges that are most appropriate for your experience level and desired effects.
Leafly’s 100 best cannabis strains of all time
An increasing number of cannabis customers prefer consuming their cannabis in edible form, which can include both solid products like chocolate or gummies, and sweet beverages that taste like soda.
Created with cannabis extracts or with oils and butters infused with cannabis, these products are extremely discreet, which is ideal if you want to enjoy the benefits of cannabis without having to toke up and send out puffs of marijuana smoke. Their effects take a little longer to kick in than smoked cannabis flower—up to 45 minutes or an hour, so don’t eat that second cookie or gummy because you think ‘it’s not working’—but edibles can last much longer than inhaled cannabis.
New consumers: Start with a low edible dose (2mg to 5mg) and wait for it to kick in.
We recommend that new consumers start with a low dose, between 2 and 5 milligrams of THC. With more use, your body will be able to tolerate more THC. But when it comes to edibles, cannabis vendors recommend starting low and going slow.
Most edibles in New Mexico will be sold in packages that contain a total of 100mg of THC, with each portion dosed at 10mg. Check the package and ask your budtender about the dosage before you leave the sales counter. (Seriously, ask. Everybody wants you to have a good experience).
A wide variety of edibles are available in New Mexico, from gummies and chocolates to infused olive oils and honey sticks.
How to consume edibles
Although they aren’t as readily available as other edibles, some customers prefer to consume their cannabis by swallowing capsules.
These products are also available at various potencies, and affect the body much like edibles do, as both are absorbed through the body’s gastrointestinal system. Capsules tend to be more popular among medical patients than retail buyers, but plenty of adult-use cannabis stores across New Mexico will offer them.
Why I turned to cannabis capsules during Covid
Vape batteries and vape cartridges
Looking for a smoother and more cost-effective way to inhale cannabis? Vaporizer cartridges, also known as vape carts, could be a great fit for you.
A vape cartridge (also known as a “cart”) is a small glass container pre-filled with a gram or half-gram of cannabis oil.
Most vape carts connect to a rechargeable battery which heats up the oil to activate the various chemical components in it. Vape carts and batteries are normally sold separately, but some models include a single unit with a disposable battery.
To make vape cartridges, cannabis producers extract concentrated oils from cannabis plants using a number of different methods. Such methods include carbon-dioxide solvent-based extraction, distillate or solventless pressed hash rosin.
Vape carts will contain either the oils of a single strain, or a blend of multiple strains. They’re typically marked as either sativa-dominant, indica-dominant or a hybrid of the two.
If you’re purchasing and using a vape cartridge for the first time, be sure to purchase both units (cart and battery) and have your budtender show you how they’re used. Some batteries turn on and heat up the oil automatically when you inhale, while others require a button activation of some kind. Take the time to understand your equipment while you’re in the store. It will save you a lot of frustration later.
What is a cannabis vape cartridge?
Customers can also buy cannabis in several extracted and concentrated forms, including shatter, crumble, diamonds and terp sauce. You can typically consume these products by vaporizing or dabbing them.
Cannabis concentrates tend to be extremely potent. We don’t recommended using them if you’re a first-time consumers or still have a low THC tolerance.
An increasing number of cannabis consumers love tinctures, in which cannabis is diluted in oil or alcohol and administered under the tongue with a dropper. Tinctures are extremely easy to dose, and are available in a wide range of potencies and blends.
Remember: Don’t drink a tincture as if it’s a beverage. Place a dropper-measured amount under the tongue and hold it there for a few seconds.
Cannabis tinctures 101: How to make, consume, and dose them
Topicals are typically a salve, lotion or balm infused with THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. Topicals are available at nearly all cannabis stores.
People wanting to use cannabis to relieve pain without the psychoactive effect may enjoy the effects of infused salves and lotions. These are often infused with both THC and CBD. They treat specific areas of the body, such as knees or other joints, without triggering an intoxicating effect.
Bongs, pipes, and dab rigs
If you’re in the market for a bong, pipe, dab rig or other smoking accessory, just about every cannabis shop across the state will have you covered.
We also recommend checking out the Albuquerque-based company Just Urban Smoke Shop, whose titanium bongs and wacky curved pipes are meant to withstand all of your New Mexico adventures.