Close this search box.

How Ultra Health Became Sunland Park’s Top Dispensary

Share with:

sunland park dispensary, ultra health dispensary

SUNDLAND PARK, N.M. (420CanNews)—When the state of New Mexico launched legal recreational marijuana sales in April 2022, one small border town of just 17,000 residents was poised for an economic boom. With Texas holding out on legalization, cannabis retailers in Sunland Park were suddenly able to cater to the hundreds of thousands of potential customers right across state lines in El Paso.

One Sunland Park dispensary in particular was ready to capitalize—Ultra Health. Established as a medical cannabis provider prior to full legalization, Ultra Health’s Sunland Park location quickly became not only the No. 1 dispensary in New Mexico but also one of the highest-volume dispensaries in the entire western United States nearly overnight.

Ultra Health First to Enter Market

Unlike many recreational retailers, Ultra Health set up a medical cannabis dispensary in Sunland Park years before broader legalization laid the official regulatory groundwork in New Mexico. And with the massive population of El Paso, Texas—nearly 700,000 residents—just across the border, Ultra Health saw Sunland Park as prime real estate.

“We took the early initiative and, some would say, the early gamble, and we bet heavily on Sunland Park,” remarked Ultra Health President and CEO Duke Rodriguez as reported in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

While medical patients remained relatively few, recreational legalization would unlock a torrent of untapped demand from cannabis tourism. So Ultra Health established brand familiarity and storefront visibility early on, waiting for the pending adult-use “Acapulco gold” rush.

Record Sales After Legalization

That calculated risk paid off tremendously when New Mexico launched full recreational sales on April 1, 2022. Ultra Health’s Sunland Park branch reported average daily sales figures of approximately $100,000 in the first few weeks of legal recreational sales alone. For context, that eclipsed total monthly medical sales by nearly three times prior to broad legalization.

At its peak traffic and demand following opening day, the unassuming store operated 12 active cash registers with long customer lines wrapping around the building.

Reliance on Texas Customers

The results of Ultra Health’s gamble on attracting Texan customers in Sunland Park is apparent today. With recreational cannabis remaining strictly prohibited under Texas state law, droves of buyers from El Paso flooded Sunland Park almost immediately. Estimates indicate over 50% of purchases at Sunland Park cannabis retailers today come from Texas residents crossing state borders to purchase legal marijuana.

The customer parking lots overwhelmingly showcase Texas license plates. Border city residents share deep cultural and familial bonds across state lines. Drivers often freely traverse between El Paso, Texas; Sunland Park, New Mexico; and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, for business and recreation alike.

For most Texans, purchasing cannabis legally within their own state is not an option. So New Mexico border towns like Sunland Park have bridged that gap overnight to meet the overwhelming consumer demand.

Ongoing Market Dominance

While retail competition has since grown exponentially, Sunland Park’s Ultra Health dispensary has maintained its status as one of the top-performing retailers in the state. In February 2023, it reportedly retained the pole position as the highest total sales generator statewide outside of Albuquerque, which holds nearly thirty-three times the entire population of Sunland Park alone.

To manage sustained consumer demand in a limited physical space, Ultra Health further invested in its flagship Sunland Park dispensary by opening a secondary express order pickup store next door. This expanded their capacity to place and fulfill cannabis e-commerce and delivery orders, particularly from medical patients in Texas.

Potential Threats to Market Supremacy

The Sunland Park dispensary is without a doubt Ultra Health’s most dominant asset. First-mover advantage following unexpected recreational legalization provided the facilities and brand unmatched visibility and market penetration power.

However, uncertainty lurks underneath the current cannabis commerce frenzy enveloping Sunland Park today.

From a single location, market competition has expanded at breakneck speed with over two dozen marijuana retailers already located in Sunland Park as of early 2024, according to local TV news station, KTSM. Those businesses took in $30 million in sales from January through November of last year.

While Sunland Park dispensaries are currently reaping the benefits of Texas’s prohibitionist stance, possible recreational legalization across state lines could prove an economic dagger. Industry analysts theorize Texas’s eventual adoption of adult-use laws could rapidly drain border cities of cannabis tourists.

“When Texas really gets engaged in the cannabis [market],” Rodriguez opines, “you’re going to have a behemoth the size of California.”

So while New Mexico border towns like Sunland Park thrive off consumer demand from neighboring states today, forthcoming policy changes could destabilize that equation overnight by opening the floodgates to commerce going in both directions. Whether the first-to-market advantage secures lasting consumer loyalty for pioneering dispensaries like Ultra Health remains to be seen.

Looking Past Border Lines

For now, players embedded along the New Mexico and Texas border are able to supply legal cannabis to millions of customers barred within their own states. And for Sunland Park, no single dispensary exemplifies that thirst-quenching commerce pump better than Ultra Health.

For more updates on the rapidly changing cannabis landscape, subscribe to 420CanNews today. We are the best news aggregator for all stories and trends related to cannabis.

— Story Filed By 420CanNews Staff

Here’s More Information on the Topic:

Texans two-step across border to fill Sunland Park’s cannabis dispensaries

‘I went to jail for pot before’: Why NM recreational cannabis is a ‘huge deal’ for Borderland residents

New Mexico launches cannabis sales, within Texans’ reach

Texas & Federal Law – Cannabis Recreational Use

New Mexico medical cannabis industry surpasses $200 million in patient sales in 2020

Marijuana Buyers From Texas Fuel a ‘Little Amsterdam’ in New Mexico

Border sales a boost for most marijuana retailers across US

Texans drive up sales of recreational marijuana in New Mexico

Cannabis sales reach over $30M in Sunland Park, N.M.