Today, SFR

on the

problems with supply, pricing and communication

in New Mexico’s three-year-old medical cannabis program. The Albuquerque Journal recently

the program as

“shrouded in secrecy.”

Aspects of it are, like patient health data and the names and addresses of growers and prescribing doctors. But with a little records searching and some phone calls, SFR was able to determine much more about the current shape of medical marijuana in New Mexico.

---

A common complaint among medical cannabis program participants is the lack of product available—a phenomenon that many say stems from the relatively low number of producers (11, as of last month; prior to that, only five) serving more than 2,000 patients. According to SFR's research, several of those are still just getting started. SFR attempted to contact each producer and has a pending information request for annual reports (producers are required by state law to incorporate as nonprofits) and original incorporation documents with the Public Regulation Commission. For now, here's what we found:

1. Santa Fe Institute for Natural Medicine

Location: Santa Fe County

The first licensed medical cannabis producer is notoriously tight-lipped about its delivery practices, and a spokeswoman named "Donna" declined to give her last name. Nonetheless, she did say SFINM has approximately 700 enrolled patients, roughly half of whom "don't purchase medical cannabis because they're growing their own."

Donna says SFINM has "no problem serving all of our members" and is "a little bit tired of all these new producers and all their whining" about not being able to produce enough cannabis.

2. New Mexicann Natural Medicine Inc.

Location: Santa Fe County

Len Goodman of New Mexicann says the percentage of his patient base—at about 800, a good chunk of the program—living on disability, veterans or Medicaid benefits "is huge." That's why prices, which according to the DOH hover between $10 and $13 per gram, often seem too high. (Goodman sells for approximately $11.42 per gram.)

Also, Goodman notes, few health insurers pay for medical cannabis, and there's no state-sponsored assistance for it.

"If medical cannabis is legitimate medicine, why aren't people who are indigent receiving help from the state?" Goodman wonders. "I understand that from a budgetary perspective, the money might not be there—but [the support] is not even there philosophically!"

3. Organtica

Location: Santa Fe County


4. GrassRoots RX

Location: Cibola County

Bryan Krumm, a certified nurse practitioner who sits on the board of this producer, says he understands the plight of patients trying to find plentiful, affordable medical pot. A limiting factor, Krumm says, is the state's 95-plant limit—which exists because 100 is the threshold for federal response.

But Krumm believes the federal Drug Enforcement Administration should reclassify marijuana because of its recognized medicinal qualities. To that end, he's filed a petition with the DEA.


5. Southwest Organic Producers

Location: Sandoval County

6. Medzen Services Inc.

Location: Cibola County

Price: not yet in production

According to board member Tom Boutwell, Medzen could be selling medical cannabis in two to three months, but actual production will take longer.

7. Healthy Education Society

Location: Bernalillo County

8. Natural Medicine of New Mexico, Inc.

Location: Bernalillo County

9. G&G Genetics

Location: Cibola County

SFR was unable to reach the directors listed for G&G, but a message at the listed phone number for the producer's registered agent says a plumbing company (listed under the same person) is "not accepting service work because we are booked on other projects."

10. Sacred Garden

Location: Catron County

11. Budding Hope

Location: Harding County

OTHER (someday?) PRODUCERS:

12. Veggies Inc

Location: Eddy County

According to founder and experienced vegetable grower Randy Mazur, Veggies Inc. has been trying (in vain) to get a medical marijuana production license for 19 months.

"They need producers!" Mazur tells SFR. "I don't know what their problem is."

Initially, the DOH sent Mazur a producer's license—but then said it had done so in error, despite Mazur's investment in a full-fledged growing operation.

"Their screw-up literally cost me tens of thousands of dollars," Mazur says. The story aired on KRQE in December; meanwhile, Mazur's still hoping for a license. Local patients tell SFR they need a grower close by.

13. NMMC Co.

Location: Sandoval County

The PRC lists this NMMC's nonprofit license as "revoked"; SFR was unable to reach the board members listed on the PRC website.