The New Mexico Department of Health says the number of medical marijuana patients in Santa Fe County has increased 43-percent since January 2017. There are 5,245 patients in the county, representing the second-highest amount of medical marijuana patients statewide behind Bernalillo County.
Santa Fe County now has seven dispensaries, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. Minerva Canna Group operates the largest dispensary, by square footage numbers, in the state. Two more dispensaries are expected to open in the county, with the eighth being just a few days away from opening.
Lane Stevens of Ultra Health said, “They call it ‘the green rush’ right now. It really is huge.”
Tom Wilke of CG Corrigan said, “I think that both New Mexico and the U.S. are on the road to fully legalizing cannabis. There’s 29 states that have passed medical cannabis legislation. That’s already over half of the U.S.”
He also said, “Is legalizing good? I think it would be good for all citizens to have another legal medicinal choice besides opioids. Medicine is something personal. It should be our choice.”
The increased number of medical marijuana dispensaries concerns some business owners and their employees about oversaturation in the county, but don’t believe it will hurt any of their businesses.
Jennifer Guadalupi of Fruit of the Earth Organics Natural Health said, “All of the sudden I do worry a little bit about what that’s going to look like, how it’s going to even out, level out in the next couple of months.”
Fruit of the Earth Organics Natural Health is the CBD-only division of Fruit of the Earth dispensary.
Stevens said, “We get new patients every single day. As a matter of fact, since we’ve been sitting here, we just registered a new patient, and that’s probably the second one today, and we’ve only been open for about an hour and a half. We usually get anywhere from six to 10, sometimes 15, new patients registers here at this shop a day.”
Patient Adele Baca said, “In my eyes, it’s green, it grows naturally. Why not use it?”
Regarding increased enrollment, Stevens said, “The demand is growing. I believe it to be the education. People are being more educated on the benefits of medicinal cannabis, so the more people are educated and know the benefits and what it can actually do for you, the more people are actually changing their way of thinking as opposed to just listening to the reefer madness and all the false propaganda.”
Judith Thornburg is one of the state’s registered medical marijuana patients – she’s 75-years-old and suffers from insomnia.
She said, “Forty years of insomnia, and I’m sleeping like a baby.”
She also said, It’s just like a miracle. Can you imagine? Forty years [of insomnia]. You can’t help but hear about it all over the place. Everyone is talking about how it’s just changing their lives for the better.”