New Mexico medical marijuana patients are encountering longer delays when renewing their MMJ cards, forcing some patients to bypass legal dispensaries and turn to the black market to purchase medicine.
The delays reflect surging enrollment in the state’s medical cannabis program, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported, a development that ultimately should benefit MMJ dispensary owners.
Under state law, the New Mexico Department of Health has 30 days to approve or reject an application for a medical cannabis card. But current wait times range from 40 to 120 days, according to the New Mexican, as the department struggles to keep up with demand.
A spokesman for the state MMJ program said the delays are tied to the big jump in patient registration – from roughly 14,000 to 25,000 patients in the past year.
An office manager for New Mexican Natural Medicine, a Santa Fe dispensary, told the paper that when she turned in her renewal papers on May 7, she was informed that the process would take “at least 60 days.”