A new cannabis store is coming to Rio Rancho
Joseph Padilla is eager to launch his recreational cannabis store NM Altitude because his goals go beyond the economic benefit the pot industry will have in New Mexico.
Padilla, the co-owner of NM Altitude, said he was particularly keen to provide the service to people struggling with anxiety and sleep issues — all-too-common things people have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Padilla said the goal is to open the store by April 1. The store will be at 1100 NM 528, just north of the intersection with Corrales Road.
“It’s something that has always interested me,” he said. “A few years ago we actually considered starting a CBD shop…and COVID hit everything, so it kind of put that on hold. We kind of fell into that, pretty much.
Padilla said he and his mother Sharon will oversee day-to-day operations and will have five to seven employees to start. He also said his mother’s background in nursing can help the store build those interpersonal relationships with customers who buy cannabis to better deal with anxiety and sleep issues.
“We plan to take this time to explain why this certain product would help certain issues or whatever you’re going through right now,” he said.
Padilla said he and his family spent the last year preparing to open a cannabis store once rumors that the state was planning to legalize marijuana for recreational use began circulating. New Mexico legalized recreational pot last June, with the move taking effect this summer.
Assessing how cannabis stores in neighboring states were preparing for operations, Padilla said he had done as much work in advance as possible while waiting for the application process to be finalized.
A resident of Rio Rancho, Padilla said his store will help generate additional taxes for the town of Vision.
He said that NM Altitude plans to offer various cannabis products, from buds to pot chocolates.
“We definitely plan to hold it all across the board,” he said.
While the focus will be on people who buy pot for medical reasons, citing a state rule that 20% of sales must go to that clientele, Padilla said recreational cannabis will still be available to anyone. “brand new on the street”.
However, he said NM Altitude will aim to have a greater portion of the medical clientele than 20%.
Padilla said people must be at least 21 to buy cannabis, and each person cannot buy more than 2 ounces of cannabis per day. He said NM Altitude will monitor throughout the day when that person hits that 2-ounce limit.
He also said consumption inside the store and in the parking lot will be prohibited, adding that people will have to wait until they get home to smoke a joint or consume an edible.
“Anywhere on our land, we have to make sure that no one consumes any type of product,” he said.
While Padilla said his store’s rules mean you can’t indulge right before entering Tap ‘N Taco in the same mall, he said NM Altitude can help bring more people into this part of town.
“If you happen to be in the area, they are always very busy. So I think we’re both going to benefit from each other and have a really good relationship,” he said.
Padilla said NM Altitude hopes to expand operations with a second location in Rio Rancho. He said the plan was to start construction by the summer with the goal of opening that second store by the fall.
The exact area of town where the second store will be is yet to be determined, he said.