Legislative initiative to allow patients from other areas to participate in New Mexico’s program takes effect
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., June 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program will officially begin allowing medical cannabis patients from out-of-state to possess and purchase medical cannabis while in New Mexico. Ultra Health, New Mexico’s #1 Cannabis Company, will be providing medical cannabis for reciprocal participants on July 1, 2020.
Patients with proof of authorization from a medical cannabis program outside New Mexico, also known as reciprocal participants, may begin purchasing medical cannabis from New Mexico dispensaries on July 1, 2020, without paying any additional fee. Reciprocal participants may purchase and possess up to 230 units or 8 ounces of cannabis in a 90-day period.
New Mexico’s reciprocity legislation is the most patient-friendly and generous in the country, allowing medical cannabis patients with proof of authorization from any state, the District of Columbia, a territory or commonwealth of the U.S. or a New Mexico Indian nation, tribe, or pueblo to purchase medical cannabis while in New Mexico.
Currently, no other medical cannabis reciprocal program in the United States recognizes Tribal sovereignty in accepting authorizations approved by Tribal nations or pueblos.
While many other reciprocal programs in medical cannabis states require a medical cannabis “card” specifically, New Mexico’s program only requires proof of authorization which includes doctor recommendations like those more commonly issued in California.
Furthermore, reciprocal participants may have qualifying conditions that are not currently approved for medical cannabis patient status in New Mexico, and they are not required to comply with New Mexico’s patient card application nor renewal requirements.
Overall, non-residents with an authorization for medical cannabis from outside of New Mexico will have an easier qualification than a New Mexican cardholder in regard to multi-state eligibility, purchase limits and cost to participate.
Reciprocity was passed during the 2019 Legislative Session when lawmakers made sweeping changes to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act for the first time since the bill was originally passed in 2007.
The legislative passage of reciprocity signals an increasing move toward equitable healthcare rights for medical cannabis patients including continuity of care and consistency in dispensing prescription medicine as seen in traditional healthcare systems.
“It is exciting to see New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program begin to embrace continuity of care,” said Duke Rodriguez, CEO and President of Ultra Health®. “Access to healthcare, especially medical cannabis, should not be limited to arbitrary requirements like where a person lives or whether the state believes their condition should qualify. The ongoing challenge now will be to provide for the medical cannabis needs of 100,000 New Mexicans and the added reciprocal visitors from out-of-state amid historic medical cannabis supply shortages and COVID-19.”
New Mexico’s program is currently supporting a record number of nearly 100,000 patients while operating on its lowest supply of available flower and bud since December 31, 2018. This shortage of available medicine is already being exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic due to the considerable surge in demand for medical cannabis in New Mexico and across the country during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Demand is unlikely to slow down as New Mexico’s projected revenues for the second quarter of 2020 are expected to increase by 60% over the same period in 2019. Patient enrollment in New Mexico’s program reached 92,042 patients as of May 30, 2020, a 26% increase over May 2019 enrollment.
Enrollment is forecasted to surpass 100,000 active patients by year-end.
Ultra Health is New Mexico’s #1 Cannabis Company and the largest vertically integrated medical cannabis provider in the United States. The provider currently operates 20 dispensary locations statewide, with another 10 stores slated to open by the third quarter of 2020. Ultra Health provides unparalleled medical cannabis care by producing accurately dosed, smokeless cannabis products such as sublingual tablets, oils, pastilles, suppositories and more through its partnership with Israeli pharmaceutical group Panaxia. Ultra Health has been at the forefront of patient-rights issues and continues to fight for adequate supply and rural access in the New Mexico medical cannabis market.
Marissa Novel 480-404-6699