New Mexico Gov. Lobbying for Separate Medical Marijuana Division to Run Pot Program

As New Mexico’s fledgling medical marijuana program grows at a rapid clip, a top state health official is looking to create a new division responsible for overseeing MMJ licensing, regulation and enforcement.

Dr. Catherine Torres, secretary of Health and Human Services, told the Associated Press that she will ask legislators for permission to form the new department and bring on seven workers to staff it. Her goal is to move medical marijuana regulation outside the responsibilities of the state’s health department, funding a separate MMJ division with revenues gleaned from the fees dispensaries and growers must pay to get licenses.

It’s a positive development for patients and the entire medical cannabis industry in New Mexico.

The state’s governor, Susana Martinez, previously came out against medical cannabis and advocated to repeal the law, which was approved in 2007. But her administration is now looking to more effectively oversee the program despite her personal reservations.

That’s a decidedly different strategy than the one employed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who also opposes the idea of medical pot. Brewer has halted the permit process for dispensaries, in effect putting the MMJ industry there on ice.

Under New Mexico’s medical pot laws, the state monitors cannabis cultivation and distribution, and patients can get their medicine from licensed nonprofit dispensaries.

Roughly4,000 New Mexico residents currently posses medical marijuana cards, while another 1,000 have applied and are waiting as the state struggles to ease a backlog.

2 comments on “New Mexico Gov. Lobbying for Separate Medical Marijuana Division to Run Pot Program
  1. Caliber44 on

    IT IS A VERY SAD DAY WHEN ANY DISPENSARY IS CALLED “NON PROFIT”, AS THEY ALL MAKE A HUGE PROFIT !! THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON THE FOR THE VERY HIGH PRICES OF MMJ PERIOD !! IT IS A PLANT THAT CAN BE GROWN FOR FREE, AND IT SHOULD BE !! THE PRICES CURRENTLY RANGE FROM $7 PER GRAM UP $15 PER GRAM OR MORE !! NOW HOW IS THAT NON PROFIT ?? IT IS NOT !! THERE SHOULD BE A LAW PASSED IN NEW MEXICO THE SAME AS IN WASHINGTON D.C., IT STATES THAT MMJ WILL BE SOLD ACCORDING TO THE ABILITY TO PAY FOR IT, OR LOW INCOME PATIENTS PAY A VERY LOW PRICE, AND NO INCOME PATIENTS GET THEIRS FREE !! IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE EXPENSIVE LIGHTING, THAT IS YOUR CHOICE, AND YOU SHOULD PAY FOR IT, NOT THE PATIENTS !! IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE PESTICIDES ( NOT NEEDED ) THEN YOUR PRODUCT SHOULD BE TESTED FOR TOXCICITY AND NOT SOLD IF ANY IS PRESENT IN YOUR MARIJUANA !!! THE PROCESS FOR A MMJ CARD IS HARDLY UNDER CONTROL, AND WAS MADE DIFFICULT ON PURPOSE TO DISSUADE PEOPLE FROM APPLYING FOR ONE, PLUS NO DOCTORS WILL ACCEPT ANY FORM OF INSURANCE TO PAY FOR A VISIT OR SIGNATURE IN ORDER TO OBTAIN A CARD, EVEN MORE GREED…
    IT COST FROM $200 AND UP TO EVEN GET A SIGNATURE IN NEW MEXICO, AND IS AGAIN A BIG DEAL TO APPLY FOR A MMJ CARD… ALL DOCTORS SHOULD BE ABLE TO SIGN FOR OR RECOMMEND YOU FOR A CARD IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THE CONDITIONS SET BY THE STATE !! ALL DOCTORS SHOULD BE FORCED TO ACCEPT ANY INSURANCE FOR A VISIT, AND NOT ALLOWED TO CHARGE FOR THEIR SIGNATURE !! ANY PERSON WHO GROWS THEIR OWN SUPPLY OF MMJ SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO SELL THEIR OVERAGE TO ANY DISPENSARY FOR A PRICE SLIGHTLY UNDER WHAT THE DISPENSARY CHARGE TO SELL IT TO YOU !!! IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE A NON PROFIT INDUSTRY ISN’T IT ?? I TELL YOU IT IS NOT, IT IS SOLELY BASED ON PROIFT !!! YES MAKE A NEW DIVISION ONLY FOR MMJ IN NEW MEXICO, AND INVESTIGATE THE DISPENSARIES FOR PROFIT MAKING !! IF FOUND GUILTY, THEY SHOULD BE ARRESTED, AND CHARGED WITH PROFITEERING AND HAVE ALL LICENSES REMOVED AND FORBID TO EVER OWN, OR OPERATE ANY BUSINESS IN THE MMJ ARENA FOREVER !!

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  2. dead head on

    thanks for your opinion caliber 44. but what you fail to understand about Non-Profit is this. plants do not grow for free as you suggested it does. at least not the kind of operation it takes to produce large amounts. Is your rent free and your electric bill? how about your groceries? you need money to pay for all that stuff you need to live. do you go to work 40 plus hours a week and not expect a pay check when the week is over? not likely. why do expect the people that work in this industry to work for free? and to produce year round requires as you say expensive lighting. Give me a break brother and think about it just a little bit more. payroll alone for a business with say 5 peeps working full time will be $150,000 dollars per year min. unless you believe in not paying folks a living wage for there time and energy. not to mention rent on retail space, insurance, full time CPA to keep the taxes straight,electric/water/waste. your spending well over $200,000 per year, and if your growing your own product then that cost would double. so $400,000 per year in cost selling herb at $7.00 a gram. only black market grows have little costs since most of them steal the power thy are using. and thy use junkies/crack heads to operate there grows. but legal businesses do not operate like that. therefor it takes a lot of money just to pay everyone and all the bills. Hug a tree for me bro!

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