New Mexico medical marijuana patient count swells amid supply squeeze

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New Mexico’s medical cannabis patient count has topped the 50,000 mark, but limits on the number of plants a business can grow is putting a strain on supply and causing prices to rise.

The state health department reported that 50,954 patients were enrolled at the end of March, an increase of nearly 46% from the same time last year, according to The Associated Press.

But producers are capped at 450 plants per license, according to the Albuquerque Journal. That limit and New Mexico’s steadily increasing MMJ demand is causing the supply to grow thin.

Only 35 vertically integrated businesses operate in the state, but there are no limits on how many stores each business can open. Subsequently, the state has 71 dispensaries, up from 52 in early 2017.

About half the state’s patients list post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying condition, and there are 21 MMJ qualifying conditions, including cancer and severe chronic pain. But attempts to further expand the list of conditions have been voted down twice since 2016.