Licensed medical marijuana cultivators in New Mexico may be able to grow more medical marijuana. The plant limit was set by the state at 450 plants, but State District Judge David Thomson issued a 60-page ruling calling the plant limit “arbitrary.”
The state will now have 120 days to study the plant limit and establish a new one, according to Santa Fe New Mexican. Increasing production should also help the cost of medical marijuana to decrease in the state. It will also help the state keep up with the increasing patient base.
Duke Rodriguez of Ultra Health said, “I can see the price falling by 50 percent.”
Grams are averaging $10. In neighboring states, especially Colorado, prices average $5/gram or less.
Ultra Health was one of the plaintiffs challenging the plant limit along with caregiver Nicole Sena.
Sena said, “This is a victory for my daughter and all New Mexicans. I think this will make a huge impact on our cannabis program because not all patients use the same products and they will be able to choose what is right for them now that producers will be able to have more plants.”
In his ruling, Judge Thomson wrote, “In essence, [the Department of Health] is using its regulatory authority in a manner and with an end toward impeding the purpose of the act. Further, its regulatory mandate of 450 plants is not based on fact or reliable data and is not rationally related to its regulatory authority. More importantly, it impedes the ability to assure medical patients have an adequate supply.”
The ruling also notes that a plant limit can’t be based on outdate information or irrelevant data that violates the Legislature’s regulations regarding having an adequate supply to serve all patients.
The judge pointed out that the state has not adjusted the plant limit since 2014. The plant limit did not include provisions for increased patient enrollment.
He said, “There is also ‘pent-up’ demand from patients who are not enrolled in the program precisely because they do not have access to medicine, and this demand is essentially silent.”
It is not speculated what the new plant cultivation limit could be.