US (NM): Million cannabis plant count a mistake, officials say

The state Cannabis Control Division has walked back its claim that the state had more than 1 million mature plants ready to supply product manufacturers and retail shops ahead of the start of adult-use cannabis sales last month.

Some critics, including cannabis growers, had scoffed at the figure, saying it couldn’t be correct, with fewer than 100 licensed producers in New Mexico and with a limit on the number of plants each is permitted to grow.
For weeks the state stood by its estimate. On Tuesday, however, Cannabis Control Division Director Kristen Thomson said New Mexico instead has about a million plants in various stages of production, from seed to sale. A contract analyst asked to determine the count of mature plants in late March, in response to a query from The New Mexican, mistakenly assumed the count would include all plants, she said.

Thomson said the state has no way to track a count of mature plants because that is a “data set that doesn’t exit.” Plant count estimates are based on numbers producers provide to the state’s cannabis tracking system, called BioTrack, which doesn’t keep a record of plant stages of growth.

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