NEWS BRIEF

Decisions by judge, regulator boost New Mexico’s marijuana market

The biggest medical marijuana business in New Mexico, Ultra Health, is celebrating another legal victory after a district court judge sided with the company’s lawsuit alleging that regulators inappropriately limited which out-of-state patients could buy MMJ under the state’s reciprocity rules.

According to the medical marijuana statute, legitimate MMJ patients from other states may buy the medicine in New Mexico.

But regulators set rules saying non-New Mexico patients must possess medical marijuana cards and government-issued identification from their respective states, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

Ultra Health sued the state last September, arguing that New Mexico’s medical marijuana program never required government-issued ID from out-of-state patients and that not all jurisdictions provide MMJ cards.

According to the suit, the regulations violated the state’s MMJ statute and affected roughly 5,000 out-of-state patients.

The judge agreed, giving another victory against the state to Ultra Health, which in January won a court battle against increased pesticide and contaminants testing.

In a separate development, New Mexico cannabis regulators said that, beginning June 29, they will stop charging taxes on limited amounts of medical marijuana and would also raise plant-count caps.

The June 29 deadline is part of New Mexico’s new law legalizing possession and sales of recreational marijuana.

Licensed MMJ businesses that had expressed worries about supply shortages after the adult-use market launches in early 2022 received a letter Wednesday informing them of the changes, the Associated Press reported.

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