Cannabis News Box

New Mexico’s medical cannabis program doubles in size, but plant cultivation remains restricted

With patient enrollment figures predicted to swell by 183 percent over the next three years, the seven percent increase in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program is rather worrying

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






New Mexico is branching out to provide its residents with a high standard of medical care, but the state is struggling to produce enough weed to serve all of its medical cannabis patients.

At the beginning of August, New Mexico’s medical cannabis production totaled 14,700 plants, of which were produced by 35 commercial cannabis producers in New Mexico.

This is just a seven percent increase since August 2016. Over the last two years, New Mexico’s medical cannabis producers are unable to pick up the pace to accommodate the state Medical Cannabis Program’s growing patient count. During that two-year period, the number of medical cannabis patients in New Mexico has doubled.

Providers of medical cannabis in New Mexico will need to wait until July 31, 2019 for the next annual relicensure. It is uncertain precisely how many licensed plants will be permitted for medicinal cultivation purposes when that time comes. However, each producer is restricted to a maximum of 450 plants each.

While the New Mexico Department of Health’s (NMDOH) has not yet declared exactly how many plants will be included in New Mexico’s medical cannabis production, as many as 75,000 people are anticipated to be enrolled in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program by next year.

Patient demand cannot be met by New Mexico medical cannabis production

http://cannabisbusinessnow.com/new-mexico-legalization-way/Medical cannabis patients in New Mexico are feeling the effects of the state’s restricted pot production. Until patient demand can legally be met by the state’s licensed cannabis cultivators, individuals who have signed up for the Medical Cannabis Program could be left with no other choice than to buy weed from the black market.

This means higher prices, unregulated cannabis production, and illicit buying behavior. Alternatively, patients in New Mexico may be forced to procure their pot from out-of-state cannabis markets.

The 35 licensed cannabis producers in New Mexico were permitted to grow 450 plants each back in August of 2016. For the period concluding on July 31, 2017, 13,800 medical cannabis plants had been licensed. This figure has crept up slightly to 14,700 plants for the period concluding on July 31, 2019.

Data gleaned from the NMDOH tells us that patient enrollment for New Mexico’s medical cannabis program topped 58,211 by the close of July this year. This enrollment figure demonstrates a 119 percent increase from the 26,568 patients who were enrolled in the program during the same time in 2016.

With patient enrollment figures predicted to swell by 183 percent over the next three years, the seven percent increase in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program is rather worrying.

NMDOH accrued $8.6 million in renewal fees since August 2016

A slump in New Mexico’s cannabis production has a direct effect on bud prices, creating an additional burden for patients who enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program.

The average price per gram of cannabis in the “Land of Enchantment” is $9.68, which is equivalent to $275 per ounce. Compare that to the low per-ounce cost of medical cannabis in Arizona – $79 – and it is clear that the NMDOH needs to make some changes to its medical cannabis production volumes.

Over the course of two years, the NMDOH has accrued $8.6 million in renewal fees from licensed providers of medical cannabis. Annual renewal fees are collected every August and they are mandatory for providers to participate in New Mexico’s cannabis production program. The yearly fee (per producer) varies from $40,000-$90,000, which works out at a hefty $200 per plant.

Greedily, the NMDOH prevents cannabis producers from offering a discounted price on bulk amounts of medicinal-grade weed.

“While NMDOH is collecting exorbitant fees year after year, the department is simultaneously limiting the statutory purpose of the Medical Cannabis Program, which is to allow for the beneficial use of medical cannabis,” said the CEO and President of Ultra Health®, Duke Rodriguez.

“Arbitrary restrictions such as prohibiting patient discounts and limiting plants for cultivation are not supported in statute. These subjective restrictions are directly obstructing the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act and nearly 60,000 New Mexicans’ legal right to fully benefit from the healthy use of cannabis.”

In an attempt to make sure New Mexico’s medical cannabis patients receive a sufficient and reliable supply of medicinal-grade weed, a complaint was filed against the NMDOH By Ultra Health in August of 2016.

The matter, which involved a debate about the regulatory plant restriction of 450 cannabis plants per producer, was explained before the Santa Fe’s First Judicial District Court Judge, David K. Thomson. A conclusion on the matter has yet to be met.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • New Mexico’s medical cannabis program doubles in size, but plant cultivation remains restricted

    Medical cannabis

    The State of Ohio has difficulty securing cannabis edibles producers

  • New Mexico’s medical cannabis program doubles in size, but plant cultivation remains restricted

    Medical cannabis

    Trump’s tariffs on Chinese products are predicted to affect the cannabis industry

  • New Mexico’s medical cannabis program doubles in size, but plant cultivation remains restricted

    Medical cannabis

    Massachusetts Attorney General says cannabis dispensaries can’t be banned

  • New Mexico’s medical cannabis program doubles in size, but plant cultivation remains restricted

    Medical cannabis

    California Legislature passes bill to permit medical cannabis use on school campuses

  • New Mexico’s medical cannabis program doubles in size, but plant cultivation remains restricted

    Medical cannabis

    Hawaii to let tourists purchase medical cannabis

  • New Mexico’s medical cannabis program doubles in size, but plant cultivation remains restricted

    Medical cannabis

    Cannabis-based epilepsy treatment Epidiolex will cost $32,500 annually

  • New Mexico’s medical cannabis program doubles in size, but plant cultivation remains restricted

    Medical cannabis

    The DEA wants to boost cannabis production for research purposes

  • New Mexico’s medical cannabis program doubles in size, but plant cultivation remains restricted

    Medical cannabis

    A Utah religious group is trying to block medical cannabis legalization

  • New Mexico’s medical cannabis program doubles in size, but plant cultivation remains restricted

    Medical cannabis

    Cannabis industry campaign donations grow in New Mexico

  • New Mexico’s medical cannabis program doubles in size, but plant cultivation remains restricted

    Medical cannabis

    A new study says workplace fatalities are down in medical cannabis states

New Mexico’s medical cannabis program doubles in size, but plant cultivation remains restricted