The Green Boom: Albuquerque’s Cannabis Industry Outpaces Liquor Stores

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Rise of 505 Farms
  3. Challenges in the Cannabis Industry
  4. The Future of the Cannabis Industry
  5. Innovative Business Models
  6. Conclusion


In the wake of the legalization of marijuana in New Mexico, Albuquerque has witnessed a significant transformation in its retail landscape. The city now boasts more cannabis dispensaries than liquor stores, a testament to the burgeoning cannabis industry’s rapid growth and the changing societal attitudes towards marijuana use. This shift is not just a statistical anomaly; it represents a broader trend in consumer behavior and market dynamics.

The Green Boom

The Rise of 505 Farms

One of the many new entrants in this green rush is 505 Farms, a family-owned pot shop that opened its doors in December 2022. The store is a cannabis microbusiness, meaning it can only grow 200 plants. Andre Galarza, the owner, has invested his entire retirement savings into the venture. This is a vivid illustration of the high stakes and potential rewards of the cannabis industry. Galarza’s commitment to supporting local businesses is evident in his store’s product range, which exclusively features New Mexico grown and extracted cannabis products. ^source^

Challenges in the Cannabis Industry

Galarza’s story is not unique. Many entrepreneurs have taken the plunge into the cannabis industry, driven by the promise of a booming market. However, the rapid growth of the industry has not been without its challenges. The city’s ordinance requires cannabis retailers to be at least 600 feet apart, but with the increasing demand for retail space, exceptions to this rule are becoming more common. This has led to concerns among smaller businesses about the potential impact of larger companies moving into their vicinity.

The Future of the Cannabis Industry

Despite these challenges, the cannabis industry in Albuquerque continues to thrive. As of April 2023, the city has approved 186 retailers, surpassing the 146 liquor stores in the city. However, industry experts predict that the market may not be able to sustain this level of saturation, and we could see a third of these stores closing or never opening in the first place over the next two years.

This prediction, while sobering, is not necessarily a death knell for the industry. Instead, it could signal a period of consolidation and maturation. Businesses that can adapt to the changing market dynamics, offer unique value propositions, and build strong relationships with their customers are likely to thrive.

Innovative Business Models

Innovative business models are also emerging in the industry. Enchanted Botanicals LLC, for example, has received approval to open a cannabis consumption lounge inside their Central Avenue location in Nob Hill. The lounge will offer a range of activities, including classes, yoga, and movie nights, providing a unique customer experience that goes beyond the traditional retail model.


The lounge represents a new frontier in the cannabis industry, one that combines retail with experiential offerings. This could be a game-changer for the industry, setting a new standard for customer engagement and creating additional revenue streams for businesses.

As the cannabis industry continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how businesses adapt to the changing landscape and what this means for the future of retail in Albuquerque. Will we see more experiential offerings like Enchanted Botanicals’ lounge? Will smaller businesses band together to compete against larger companies? And how will the city’s regulations adapt to the changing industry?

These are exciting times for the cannabis industry in Albuquerque, and we will be here to keep you updated on all the latest developments.

Best Regards,

Johnny Utah, NM CANN News Writer