New Mexico Enacts Emergency Rule Raising Cannabis Plant Count to 2,500

A 180-day rulemaking process has been initiated to determine the final amount to ensure an adequate supply.

March 4, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., March 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PRESS RELEASE -- The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) filed an emergency rule on March 1, 2019, temporarily raising the medical cannabis plant count limit to 2,500 plants per producer. The temporary limit will expire in 180 days on Aug. 28, 2019.

History was made as the leadership exercised by the governor’s office marked the most significant collaboration between the state and the cannabis industry on behalf of New Mexico’s 70,000 patients. Continuous cooperation will determine a proper regulation that will provide an adequate supply for current and future medical cannabis patients statewide.

“We see meaningful progress in the movement to potentially 87,500 plants statewide,” said Duke Rodriguez, CEO and president of Ultra Health. “Over the most next 180 days, we pledge to assist the state in crossing the finish line with an even greater commitment to the number of plants grown and the amount patients can individually purchase in the regulated market.”

While this is the most significant improvement in the Medical Cannabis Program’s 11-year history, reliable and validated research must be done over the next six months to ensure a final plant count will provide an adequate supply for patients.

Adequate supply, as defined in the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, means “an amount of cannabis, in any form approved by the department, possessed by a qualified patient or collectively possessed by a qualified patient and the qualified patient's primary caregiver that is determined by rule of the department to be no more than reasonably necessary to ensure the uninterrupted availability of cannabis for a period of three months and that is derived solely from an intrastate source.” In his Nov. 1, 2018 ruling on the plant count, former District Court Judge David K. Thomson required any plant count limit promulgated by NMDOH to be consistent with this definition.

“We recognize that a new regulation must be more sophisticated than a mere multiple of the former inadequate limitation,” Rodriguez added. “We look forward to working collaboratively with the state to develop a rule consistent with patient needs by providing meaningful data and research from the experience of accessible medical markets in other states."