Judge orders New Mexico regulators to approve two marijuana dispensaries

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

The New Mexico Department of Health has been ordered by a district court judge to approve two medical marijuana dispensaries owned by the state’s largest licensed nonprofit MMJ operator.

New Mexico Top Organics-Ultra Health, which operates nine MMJ dispensaries statewide, already had built out the facilities in Los Lunas and Española.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the state refused to approve the two outlets, citing that the Los Lunas dispensary is located inside a senior living facility and the Española store has issues that include stocking.

But Louis McDonald, chief judge of the state’s 13th Judicial District Court, ruled that regulators have no basis in law or in the state’s medical marijuana regulations for denying Ultra Health the license amendments that allow the dispensaries.

Health department spokesman Paul Rhien wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily that “the department is reviewing the judge’s decision and considering our next steps for appeal.”

According to a recent Ultra Health news release, the company leads the state with MMJ sales of $11.5 million in the first nine months of the year, a 62% increase over the same period a year ago.

Revenue for New Mexico’s MMJ program totaled $77.7 million for the first nine months of 2018, Ultra Health said, citing state figures. As of Sept. 30, 58,782 patients were enrolled in the program.