Medical cannabis patients and nonprofit producers have been waiting months to learn how the New Mexico Department of Health planned to solve severe shortages of medication around the state. But after reading dozens of new rules proposed last week by Gov. Susana Martinez's administration program, proponents say they are horrified.
They claim regulators have gone too far with new product testing rules and caps on the percentage of THC/CBD in edibles and concentrates. Patients who grow their own medication want to know why they'll be limited to two mature plants and six seedlings instead of four mature plants and eight seedlings if the rules are adopted.
"We need to solve the shortages first, then address any of their other issues," says R Greenleaf Organics Founder Willie Ford. "There's nothing in the new rules that benefit patients or reduces the cost of their medication."
Medical Cannabis Program managers say they'll increase supply by allowing licensed producers to have 150 mature plants and 300 seedlings instead of the current cap of 150 plants.
Ford is concerned that the state-mandated rule-making process could stall out if all the rules are considered at the same time.
Others, like former Gov. Gary Johnson, say the new rules were designed by Martinez and Health Secretary Retta Ward to kill the program. Implementing them could be a financial windfall for the program. Producers would pay up to $90,000 annually for their licenses. Patients would have to ante up $50 for theirs.