On Friday, a group of prospective medical cannabis providers filed a class action lawsuit against the New Mexico Department of Health for arbitrarily failing to approve applications.
The lawsuit, filed in First Judicial District Court by Biomed Prescriptions, Inc., and several other prospective providers against the state of New Mexico, Gov. Susana Martinez and the Department of Health, among others, alleges that the DOH’s arbitrary failing to approve 75 provider applications amounts to a violation of the 14th amendment.

Though more than 100 nonprofits have applied to become medical cannabis producers since the inception of New Mexico's medical cannabis program, only 25 have been approved.

According to the lawsuit, despite the investment of significant time and money to meet DOH application requirements, DOH has never publicized any specific process for denial--nor has it ever informed any applicant "of any reason for their non-selection."

Applicants who are rejected can reapply--and repay the $1,000 application fee--but are not allowed to appeal the DOH's decision.

In both arbitrarily denying provider applications and failing to tell providers why--or allow them recourse--the plaintiffs allege that DOH "unreasonably denied due process and equal protection of law to qualified applicants."

Biomed's suit is also a class action suit that seeks declaratory relief for all 75 prospective providers whose applications have been denied.

The lack of sufficient medical cannabis--due in part to the relatively small number of providers eligible to serve the program's roughly 4,000 patients--has long been a complaint of patients in the program.

A copy of the filing is posted below. (Give it a moment to load, and use the zoom bar at the top if you can’t read it.)