Judge rules New Mexico’s medical marijuana plant limit is arbitrary

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In a big win for New Mexico’s medical marijuana producers, a district judge called arbitrary a state-imposed limit on the number of plants cultivators can grow as part of their licensed operations – a decision that could boost MMJ supplies and lower prices.

Judge David Thomson, in a ruling issued Friday, struck down the New Mexico health department’s 450-plant limit on producers.

The cap was said to be responsible for higher-than-average medical marijuana prices.

In April, Marijuana Business Daily reported that even trim was fetching up to $450 a pound wholesale and ounces of flower were retailing for almost $300.

There have long been concerns about shortages as the population of licensed patients has grown exponentially. As of September, the state had nearly 59,000 active patients.

The judge set a deadline for the state to study the issue and establish a new plant count that complies with the legislative mandates that guide New Mexico’s medical marijuana program.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the state would appeal.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit that alleged the agency wasn’t fulfilling its obligations to ensure an adequate supply of medical marijuana.

Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily