There have been two big stories in New Mexico cannabis news this month. Qualifying conditions for a medical card were expanded to include things like autism spectrum disorder and opioid use disorder, among a suite of others. This is good news for those suffering from these kinds of conditions, but it likely means that the demand for cannabis will skyrocket. Never fear, though—the Department of Health is considering an increase to the plant counts in the state. The max was previously 450, was temporarily raised to 2,500 to help deal with a shortage, and will, with any luck, be set permanently at 1,750. We say that ideally there wouldn't be a limit, but you take what you can get. Read all about that and more in our coverage, and news from around the region in the web, below.

SFR’s Cannabis News

Health Department to consider raising cannabis plant count
Although it's sort of going down, because of an emergency rule that raised it. It's weird

Providers and advocates welcome cannabis as opioid treatment
Opioid use disorder added as a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana card, and stakeholders are happy to hear it

Regional News

Missed Opportunity

New Mexico long hoped to be the 11th state to legalize recreational cannabis, but, sadly for us, that honor has gone to another. Illinois legalized recreational use of the plant earlier this month, the first in the country to do so through the state Legislature rather than a ballot measure. This could potentially be a blueprint for New Mexico, where our only option is to pass recreational legalization through the Roundhouse, and a cannabis CEO tells CNBC that the move will likely help states like New York and New Jersey make similar moves through their own state Legislatures.

Ding!

Colorado officially broke the $1 billion mark for cannabis sales since the state legalized in 2014. Regular Brief readers know that we usually provide a little update on our northern neighbor's doings, just to remind everyone what we could get in on. Any day now. Seriously.

Far Out

The savvy folks over at the New Mexico Political Report reports that the new rule that adds qualifying conditions also changed the current requirement that patients be New Mexico residents. Now all you have to be is a "person," and we think most of you all fall into that category. The change went into effect last Friday, according to NMPR. The Brief still has an out-of-state drivers license, so this is great news for us too. (Although, according to an NMPR follow-up story, the Health Department only intends for New Mexico residents to be allowed in the medical program. Shucks.)

Around the Web

Buy Buy Buy!!

Aurora Cannabis, a publicly traded cannabis company, passed Apple as the most popular stock on the investing app Robin Hood. The app allows first-time users an easy way to buy and sell equities, but some experts have warned that a herd mentality may develop. For example, the app includes a list of the "100 most popular" stocks at any given time, which could cause bubbles to grow as new investors just buy whatever the most popular stock is. In this case, it's Aurora Cannabis. Could marijuana be the next tulip?

A sobering thought

A recent study about the positive effects of cannabis on opioid users put a bit of a damper on previous research. Between 1999 and 2010, the study says, opioid overdoses decreased in states that had legalized medical cannabis, but between 2010 and 2017, the trend reversed. The researchers say that there isn't likely a causal effect between legalization and increased opioid use, but simply that the crisis was heating up over the same period, and cannabis did nothing to prevent it. Draw your own conclusions. It was printed in one of those fancy peer-reviewed journals, so I guess we can take their word for it, but in our humble opinion this is no reason to stop expanding medical and moving towards recreational. If you disagree, send the Brief a rage-filled email by replying to this newsletter or writing straight to will@sfreporter.com.

Do you think this bong water is stale?

An ancient bong was discovered in China in a burial site along what was once the Silk Road. Alright, it's not really a bong, but it is a wooden pipe, found with traces of that good-good inside. At 2,500 years old, it's the most ancient piece of pot smoking paraphernalia yet discovered by archaeologists. The Brief wonders what the police presence along the Silk Road was…