New Mexico Expands Medical Marijuana Program to 25 Growers

Dec 21, 2010

growers, New Mexico, Susana Martinez

New Mexico health officials have once again decided to expand the state's medical marijuana program. From the Associated Press:

[I]n another change that was welcomed by advocacy groups, Health Secretary Dr. Alfredo Vigil agreed to license eight new growers, boosting the state total to 25 in a push to increase plant production and serve more patients.

Since the program started in 2007, the state has faced problems ensuring a steady supply.

Vigil also agreed to allow growers to produce 150 mature plants and seedlings. Under earlier regulations, the limit was 95 plants.

To help finance the program, the state is also enacting new annual fees for growers, "ranging from $5,000 for producers licensed for less than a year up to $30,000 for those licensed for more than three years." There are currently about 3,000 patients in New Mexico's program, about half of whom have licenses to grow their own medicine.

Incoming Gov. Susana Martinez (R) has been openly hostile to the state's medical marijuana program, but a state health department spokesperson told the AP that the new changes will be implemented regardless of the change in office.