New Mexico has state-specific branding, the “New Mexico True Certified” stamp of approval, for several types of products such as pickles, chiles, and pistachios. But the state had decided that it will not allow any medical marijuana products to display the state stamp.
Duke Rodriguez, whose products follow state guidelines, cannot bare the state stamp, according to reports in Santa Fe New Mexican. Rodriguez is a former Human Services Department Secretary. He is now the president of Ultra Health, one of the approved dispensaries in New Mexico. Rodriguez also operates dispensaries in Arizona and Nevada.
The stamp program is described as being a way to inform people of New Mexico grown, raised and handmade items. Rodriguez argues that not including medical marijuana products in the stamping program is financially hurting the state.
Rodriguez said, “I don’t think tourism has woken up to realize how big this industry is today and how much bigger it’s going to get very quickly.”
Part of the rejection letter received by Ultra Health stated that, “Cannabis is still illegal under federal law and New Mexico limits consumption for medical purposes only. The Tourism Department primarily advertises/markets outside of New Mexico, including the New Mexico True Certified program, and therefore, we cannot accept your application for participation in this program.”
Rodriguez also commented saying that, “We would like people to get used to buying New Mexico products and viewing them as equal to or better than what is available in other parts of the country.”