Donna Armijo resigned as Medical Cannabis Program coordinator on Monday, according to Department of Health spokeswoman Aimee Barabe, narrowing current administrative staff to one.
The move comes three weeks after Dominick Zurlo, the program's czar, offered his resignation. Both will step down from their roles by the end of the month. No reason has been given out for either resignation; Barabe says she can't comment on personnel issues.
By early December, Andrea Alano will be the program's only administrator until the DOH fills the two vacant positions. Barabe says the program will still have enough staff to prevent any negative impacts from the departures.
"It's not as though there will be large voids," Barabe tells SFR.
DOH recently hired five temporary employees in the program to help it catch up on a backlog for patients' license renewals. The DOH has promised the temporary positions will eventually become permanent.
But many suspect the resignations are indicative of the state's neglect toward the program under Gov. Susana Martinez. Political blogger Joe Monahan tackles the suggestion in his post today.
Miles Conway, a political coordinator with Communications Workers of America, which represents employees who work within the Medical Cannabis Program, says morale within the program is at an all-time low.
But last week, Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell hinted to the Santa Fe New Mexican that the cutting the program doesn't fall into her top priorities.
During her 2010 campaign, Gov. Susana Martinez repeatedly stated that she didn't support the program because it puts state employees in the position of breaking federal law, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 illegal substance.