New Mexico banning nonresident medical cannabis sales

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In a move that could hurt sales at medical marijuana dispensaries in New Mexico, the state is ending the program that allowed MMJ cards for nonresidents.

The Legislature approved a bill phasing out the nonresident program in midyear.

The legislation is supported by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

More than 600 people from Texas, Arizona and other states have enrolled in New Mexico’s medical marijuana program, after Grisham signed a state statute into law allowing MMJ sales to those who don’t live in New Mexico.

State health officials, however, urged legislators this year to reinstate the requirement.

They were concerned about federal intervention if stores were allowed to sell MMJ to residents of states where it was not legal.

House lawmakers voted 44-19 to restore the residency requirement.

Ultra Health, with more than 20 medical marijuana dispensaries in New Mexico, objected.

Last August, Ultra Health, based in Bernalillo, New Mexico, won a court battle to require the state to issue cannabis cards to nonresidents.

Nonresidents who are enrolled in New Mexico’s MMJ program would be allowed to keep their cards for three years until they expire, without the possibility of renewal, according to the state’s Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel.

– Associated Press