LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — You can’t buy cannabis yet in New Mexico, but a Las Cruces business will gift customers small amounts of cannabis if they purchase stickers or other merchandise in the store.
“New Mexico is known for growing,” said Jason Estrada, the co-owner of Speak Easy in Las Cruces. “If we have the best green thumb when it comes to green chile and red chile, I’m pretty sure we can grow better cannabis here than any other state as well.”
Speak Easy officially opened on June 29th when recreational cannabis became legal in New Mexico. It’s located in the business complex on 1300 El Paseo Road, near the former Mountain View Market Co+op.
“This is the only thing that’s going to change Doña Ana County and get it going in the right direction,” Estrada said. “The community response has been unbelievable.”
If customers buy a $15 sticker, they are gifted a 1.5 gram cannabis ‘sample.’ For the purchase of a $50 sticker, customers can receive a 3 gram cannabis ‘sample.’ With the purchase of a $90 sticker, customers are gifted with a 7 gram cannabis ‘sample.’
“We’re not a dispensary,” Estrada said. “We’re a novelty and gift shop.”
Estrada said his operation is 100% legal. ABC-7 has reached out to the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, but a spokeswoman for the department did not return a call by deadline.
In the past two months, Estrada said his company has paid $125,000 in payroll. They have sold tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise since the store opened its doors.
Speak Easy has 20 employees now, but Estrada plans to hire 40 more on September 1st. New employees can expect to make $20 an hour, Estrada said. If you’d like to apply, drop off an application in person at the shop on 1300 El Paseo Road.