Cannabis in the NewsMedical

New Mexico Begins Issuing Non-Resident Medical Cannabis Cards

By September 10, 2019 No Comments

In a twist of intended policy, a state District Judge ruled in favor of non-resident Duke Rodriguez. Rodriguez became the first non-resident of New Mexico to get a medical cannabis card after he sued in August to enroll in the program. He sued alongside two Texan petitioners for the right to be added to the medical cannabis program after a change in the program’s policy language allowed for anybody to register for a card. District Judge Bryan Biedschied ruled in favor of Rodriguez and the two Texan petitioners late last month. The state of New Mexico intends to appeal the decision made by District Judge Bryan Biedscheid.

Duke Rodriguez, now able to get medical cannabis in New Mexico, can treat his diagnosed Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Rodriguez is CEO of Ultra Health LLC in Arizona and has about half a year’s worth of business to regularly tend to in New Mexico. He believes that the New Mexico medical cannabis card he received will improve his health when he is in the state for business purposes. Rodriguez also believes that his home state of Arizona will take notice of what has happened in New Mexico.

Duke Rodriguez, Chief Executive Officer of Ultra Health LLC, stated: “[Arizona is] going to have to sit up and take notice of what’s happening. It’s going to make Arizona reflect on whether its fee structure is comparable and equitable.”

The state of Arizona requires medical cannabis patients to file a new medical cannabis card request every two years with a fee of $150. New Mexico’s medical cannabis cards last for three years and are not associated with any fee. Arizona’s medical cannabis dispensary numbers are almost on par with New Mexico’s 91 dispensaries, despite the fact that the population in Arizona is greater by about 3 million residents. Rodriguez and others, such as Demitri Downing, hope that Arizona will follow in its footsteps.

Demitri Downing, Executive Director of the Marijuana Industry Trade Association of Arizona, stated: “We’ve decided that our legislative agenda for 2020 will be to bring reciprocity to the state of Arizona. And we will fight for reciprocity every year until we get it.”

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