New Mexico relaxes medical cannabis plant limits, so prices should ease

New Mexico regulators enacted an emergency rule that more than quintuples the medical marijuana plant count limit to 2,500 per grower, a development that should lower MMJ prices and increase supplies and sales.

The 180-day emergency rule was in response to a November court ruling in which a district judge struck down the state’s 450-plant limit as being arbitrary.

The judge’s ruling was seen a big win for the industry, which had complained that it was hamstrung by New Mexico’s strict plant-count limits.

Indeed, UltraHealth, a medical marijuana operator with 23 dispensaries statewide, hailed the decision and attributed it to a “significant collaboration” between the state and cannabis industry.

Here are some key elements of the New Mexico medical cannabis industry:

  • A more relaxed plant-count limit is considered critical to boosting MMJ markets.
  • The emergency rule expires Aug. 28. UltraHealth has pledged to work with the state to develop a permanent rule that “will provide an adequate supply for current and future medical cannabis patients statewide.”
  • In its emergency amendment, the state continued to defend the concept of plant-count limits, saying the restrictions help ensure access to medical cannabis “without fear of interference from the federal government.”
  • New Mexico currently has roughly 67,000 patients enrolled in its medical cannabis program, according to state regulators. The state has licensed 35 nonprofit producer and provisioning businesses.
  • Marijuana Business Factbook estimated New Mexico’s 2018 sales would reach $80 million-$120 million, up from $55 million-$75 million in 2017.

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