As we prepare to launch MJV, Alfalfa Grass’ blog, I thought it would be important to see where everything marijuana currently stands in the State of New Mexico. Basically there’s 3 stories currently dominating the New Mexico Marijuana industry:
With NM Bill 115 New Mexico is moving toward legalization of marijuana for all New Mexicans, greatly expanding the reach, influence and revenue of its current Medical Marijuana Program.
Although a priority of the Lujan Grisham administration, the buzz and effort to legalize marijuana for recreational use has taken a back seat to the State’s highly effective management of the coronavirus pandemic.
All New Mexicans should be very grateful that President Trump left the responsibility of managing the pandemic to US Governors. Lujan Grisham has done a fine job at protecting our residents from the devastation of the virus as well as a fine job of guiding our economy through this unprecedented disaster.
As we begin to slowly move further and further away from the dangers of COVID19, perhaps the Governor should reignite the flame for legalization of marijuana for recreational use sooner than later.
In our current circumstances, creating a new industry, hundreds of jobs, and a significant new revenue stream for the State couldn't come at a better time when all New Mexicans could benefit from the implementation and growth of this billion dollar a year industry.
Currently Governor Wolf of Pennsylvania has tried passionately to legalize recreational marijuana for his state with income generated being used to help residents flourish despite the economic loss created by the pandemic. Governor Wolf wants over 50% of the money generated used to help small businesses survive COVID19 through funding grants designed to provide lifelines to the small business sector.
Madame Governor, if you happen to see this, The Marijuana Voice asks you on behalf of all New Mexican’s to act quickly,furthering New Mexico’s emerging presence as a leader among States. By utilizing the power of a new billion dollar industry at such a critical time, Our visionary governor would demonstrate a progressive, innovative and intelligent response to our fragmented and struggling economy.
Medical marijuana - New Mexico’s corrective measures to issuing out of state licenses
In an effort to be that super cool stoner state, New Mexico amended its current medical marijuana legislation in June 2019. One of the helpful changes New Mexico made in these amendments was allowing out of state marijuana patients to purchase marijuana from New Mexico dispensaries.
Let’s say that a marijuana patient from Oregon is coming to visit his aunt and uncle for the summer. Rather than break federal laws by carrying marijuana across state lines, New Mexico decided to make everything ok and honor the visitor’s state’s medical card by making it lawful to sell marijuana to him while visiting.
This decision to sell to marijuana patients of other states involved amending the States current legislation. Part of the amendment removed the “state resident stipulation” in defining a qualified patient under state law.
As a result of this change, an unforeseen issue developed. Texas residents began to apply for licenses and sued the NMDOH for denying their applications. A Santa Fe District court judge ruled in August 2019 that NMDOH must issue licenses to out of state applicants due to the way in which the amended statutes were written. Texas does not have a broad medical marijuana program and New Mexico was by law obligated to issue out of state applicants licenses.
This oversight and clusterfuck caused by the omission of words in an amendment potentially put the entire new Mexico medical marijuana program in jeopardy as federal laws were now potentially being broken by our State’s legislation.
In February 2020 right before the pandemic struck the US, New Mexican legislatures corrected the wording of the statutes to allow for marijuana patients of other states to purchase from New Mexico while they are here in the state, while removing New Mexico’s new obligation to grant marijuana prescriptions to Texas residents.
The demand for medical marijuana doubles since the onset of the Coronavirus
The New Mexico medical marijuana industry has been struggling to keep a full inventory of medical products for its patients since the pandemic arrived in New Mexico.
Local dispensaries reporting that the demand for medical marijuana has more than doubled since March 2020. With CDC and New Mexico guidelines stating the medical marijuana providers should have a 3 month supply on hand for its patients, New Mexico is currently only able to maintain a 12 day supply.
One of New Mexico’s largest medical marijuana providers conducted a comprehensive study to try to ascertain the reasons for such a demand increase. Many patients who were surveyed were very concerned about their personal inventories. Many patients also reported taking more marijuana due to increases in loneliness, depression, anxiety, and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.
Currently New Mexico growers are working with the New Mexico Department of Health to increase the number of plants that can be grown so that the increase in demand can be met successfully