Cannabis sales bring new faces to Santa Fe smokehouses | Local News

Friday’s launch of adult recreational cannabis sales in the state could have an economic impact beyond the egg.

Legal marijuana should also pay dividends for new and long-established local smokehouses. Some have reported renewed interest this week in their range of bongs, bubblers, rolling papers and other cannabis-adjacent products.

Lee Saiz, manager of Roll N’ Smoke on West Cordova Road, said his store had only been open for about a month, but he began to notice an increase in customers in the days leading up to legal cannabis sales. . Initially, he was seeing about five customers a day, but as Friday approached, daily customer numbers increased to about 20, he said, and he expects that to continue.

It’s no wonder — Roll N’ Smoke sits between two cannabis dispensaries, R. Greenleaf Organics and Sacred Garden.

“Right off the bat, starting today, we’ve already had a few new customers come and ask us about our products,” Saiz said on Friday. “Looks like it’s going to be good in the sense that we’ll be picking up business between the two clinics. We’ll see how it goes in the future.

While smoke shops vary in design – some focus on tobacco products, others on vaporizers – nearly all sell products typically used with cannabis, such as bubbler pipes and hardware. cleaner specially designed for cannabis.

Prior to Friday, sales were limited to patients in the New Mexico medical cannabis program. Saiz said with legal sales extending to all adults 21 and older and the stigma of cannabis use beginning to fade, he expects business to continue growing long after the end. from the opening day buzz.

Jamil Awwad, manager of High End Smoke Shop on Airport Road, also benefits from a nearby dispensary. He was “preparing” for a flood of people from the Best Daze dispensary across the parking lot, he said.

He saw a slight increase in customers on Friday, which he called a positive sign, but said he believed the zenith would come over the weekend or next week.

“I’m going to give him about a whole week before he calms down,” he said.

Valeria Orozco, who works at High End, said she could always tell when a customer was arriving from Best Daze because of the purple polka dot bags they were carrying. She has seen medical cannabis shoppers enter the smoking room to buy pipes and rolling papers for the past two months.

On Friday, customer traffic was “steady, with lots of regulars,” she said.

Michael Wascher, who works at the Red House Smoke Shop on Cerrillos Road, said the store saw a surge in customers on Thursday as, he said, customers were trying to beat the Friday rush.

“A lot of people were stocking up on produce,” Wascher said. “Most people are going to take the first day to celebrate.”

His colleague Tony Catalsamo, who has worked at the store for six years, said cannabis dispensaries may sell smoking materials, but their products often have a higher profit margin. He doesn’t expect recreational cannabis companies to affect his long-term sales.

“People will always need their smoking accessories,” he said.

Ben Benderra, manager of A1 Smoke Shop, a sister site to Roll N’ Smoke on Cerrillos and Siler roads, said the first day for legal cannabis has brought a fairly normal flow of customers to his store, but he hopes see an increase as more people try the new legal drug.

“Hopefully we’ll get some of these smokers for the first time,” he said.

Santa Fe New Mexican journalist Robert Nott contributed to this report.

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