Sunday, October 2, 2016

Truth or Consequences...Ultra Health, DPA, and Legalization Lies.

Just as Newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst's empire of newspapers used the "yellow journalism" pioneered by Hearst to demonize the cannabis plant and spread a public perception that there were connections between cannabis and violent crime. Duke Rodriguez is the modern day Hearst to the medical cannabis program of New Mexico spreading public perception of our medical cannabis program being broken, influencing local media -telling journalist what to write and that his legalization ideas are the only way to solve the problem…all with the backing of Drug Policy Alliance, whose policies have been harmful to medical cannabis patients in other states. Between DPA and Ultra Health there has been $25,000 donated to PAC’s and New Mexico state legislators.  During job interviews in the Fall of 2015, Ultra Health was asking interviewees how they felt about the company trying to get Patient Personal Production Licenses removed from the program because it is viewed by Ultra Health as a unfair advantage patients have.

The absence of the medical cannabis patients voice has been furthered silenced by groups who have strayed from their original mission such as Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).  George Soros’ Open Society Foundation is listed as a major financial supporter of DPA in its annual report of 2013.  As the influence of theses financial donations from companies the vast majority of medical cannabis patients want nothing to do with, in May of this year, Bayer AG, the giant German chemical and pharmaceutical company, made a bid to buy Monsanto.  According the Wall Street Journal these merger talks have picked back up, with Bayer increasing its purchase offer,  as of  July 19th 2016.  
Both companies are said to be working on a synthetic cannabis-based extract. In 2003 the German Bayer AG then signed an agreement with GW Pharmaceuticals for joint research on a cannabis-based extract. In 2007, Bayer AG agreed to an exchange of technology with . . . Monsanto . . . . Thus Monsanto has discreet access to the work of the cannabis plant and its genetic modification. In 2009 GW Pharmaceuticals announced that it had succeeded in genetically altering a cannabis plant and patented a new breed of cannabis according to the Cannabinoid Research Institute division of GW Pharmaceuticals. Billionaires George Soros and the late Peter Lewis have bankrolled much of the cannabis legalization movement since 2012, providing Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) the bulk of their funding.
Look what happened in Washington state on July 1st 2016 when patients lost safe access to medical cannabis- that new approach to their program was funded by George Soros and his influence on DPA as revealed by the Seattle Times on September 22, 2012. George Soros is one of the biggest and most important shareholders of Monsanto Agrochemical Company and Halliburton. Peter Lewis got his source of great wealth from Progressive Insurance. The following chart, from The Washington Times, shows how this funding was provided in further detail.
Outlined below is his ( Ultra Health and Duke Rodriguez’s) very questionable past, and there is even more out there…

"The Gathering of Nations Powwow is a very spiritual and social celebration," said Duke Rodriguez, CEO and President of Ultra Health in a company release. "At Ultra Health we believe such components are vital to well-being, and sponsoring the event was an obvious decision in light of the importance Native people have historically put on healing and natural medicine."

Deborah White Plume, whose husband, Alex White Plume has been an advocate for the growing of hemp for decades, says she has mixed emotions about the sponsorship. “First of all, I am curious what the organizers get for sponsorship. But ultimately though I use medical marijuana, I feel this is an exploitative and corporatizing of Native people. I think it would be friendly and respectful if Ultra Health took their name off of the event name, otherwise, it is just another exploitative and oppressive gesture to the red nation.”

A deconstruction of Ultra Heath’s promotional video

On the Ultra Health website, they have a promotional video which is VERY pro-native. but not in a good way. It features a slogan at the beginning which states “In an Industrial World, what is Healthy?”.  From that point on, visuals include shots of the New Mexico countryside, then shots of native traditional drummers, and dancers, then a shot of what looks to be more like a coffee shop from new England, then back to shots of a white girl doing aerobics, and then of a black man running,  then a bit more concerning is a shot of native children when the voiceover mentions “spirituality”. Then next  transitioning to a shot and soundbite of a woman talking about the fact that cannabis is now legal and seen as a medicine.” As she is saying this, there is a shot of a Navajo woman who is unboxing what appears to be “Ultra Heath chocolate bars” which presumably have cannabis in them. it is also worth noting that the only people speaking or consuming cannabis in this video are white.  But as these soundbites are used, shots cut back and forth to NATIVE people dancing, or drumming.  There is even a tribal elder in a headdress dancing. The music in this video is also very questionable.  Possibly a  producers concept of  what they think is “contemporary native music.”  It’s way off base.

Another concern:
On Sept. 11, 2014, about four years after it earned one of the first nonprofit producer’s licenses in the state and set up shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico Top Organics founders—Peter Ferrara, Mark Baker, and their wives, Christina Ferrara and Annie Campbell—signed over 100 percent of the nonprofit dispensary’s revenue to Ultra Health, LLC, a for-profit management firm working in three states. At the helm of the Arizona-based business is Duke Rod­riguez, a former chief financial officer for Lovelace Medical Center, who helped transition the hospital from a nonprofit facility to a for-profit organization and who also served as Human Services Department cabinet secretary under then-Gov. Gary Johnson.

Dispensary and cultivation management contracts provided to SFR by the New Mexico Department of Health show that the parties agreed to a 30-year deal granting Ultra Health use of the nonprofit’s license to staff, manage and operate dispensaries around the state in exchange for Ultra Health returning up to $12,500 per calendar year to the nonprofit entity for its “exclusive use and/or charitable purposes.”

Ultra Health wouldn’t say how the money was used last year, which individuals make that decision, or whether any other sums changed hands.

  • About 1 min 6 seconds in - the kids Ultra Health uses...upset many Native Americans as showing native children in ceremony dance like this is so disrespectful

  • This radio interview also was very upsetting to the Native American community and medical cannabis patient community that Duke Rodriguez did here at KUNM - he changes history making claims of cannabis seeds found at ancient burial grounds here - very far fetched...

  • For the music video filmed in the medical grow facility, in a radio interview when he was questioned of this he said that protective and proper clothes were worn and gloves, that plants were not touched.  Also the say they are a organic grow, in the video it shows some heavy chemical fertilizers being used.  There has been other photos leaked from inside Ultra Health’s grow facility showing SSDP law student and a former patient group President leaning into cut and hanging cannabis for a selfie.

  • How many Patients, Caregivers , members of the medical cannabis community, ancillary business owners and producers have been asked by Duke Rodriguez or Ultra Health about what YOU would like to see in YOUR medical cannabis program to make it better?   Or are we going to watch Duke & Ultra Health destroy it? As he pushes for Recreational Use in a Compassionate Medical Program…

  • "And as Secretary of Human Services in the cabinet of New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Mr. Rodriguez privatized Medicaid into a program called PROGRESS. The Albuquerque Journal summarized his approach then:
    “With extremely limited input from advocates, consumers, the state legislature and state health, mental health and children’s and family departments, Rodriguez designed and pushed through his own plan.”
        The plan was eventually scrapped by the State Supreme Court since Johnson’s administration imposed it without approval of the Legislature. This also resulted in Duke Rodriguez resigning amid allegations that he received money from a firm that collected millions of dollars in Medicaid payments from the state welfare department."

Article Duke Rodriguez wrote to promote his legalization theory here in New Mexico

  • Google Search Results of his many past lawsuits

  • Article has all the producers 2016 first quarter reports - with interactive links

  • “In the meantime, advocates of the poor have filed a lawsuit against Johnson and state welfare officials, accusing them of foot-dragging in developing a welfare reform plan amenable to both the governor and the Legislature.

    And the combative original head of PROGRESS, Duke Rodriguez, resigned last month amid allegations that he received money from a firm that collected millions of dollars in Medicaid payments from the state welfare department.” - LA Times 1997 Article

This article revealed, if granted and why it has not been granted, of Duke Rodriguez trying to gain a monopoly in the medical program and has also shown how Ultra Health has misrepresented themselves by staging for recreational legalization in a medical cannabis compassionate use program.
  • “Duke Rodriguez, the president and chief executive officer of Ultra Health, which already manages six cannabis dispensary locations in New Mexico, tells SFR that he’s prepared to create 85 new dispensary jobs around the state with an average pay of $15 per hour, but the health department is dragging its feet. He wants them to approve his plan to open 13 new dispensaries in rural cities without full-time dispensaries (stores that are open at least 40 hours a week.)”
    - See more at:

  • They also already have a deal in place with a big pharma company depended upon them being able to grow unlimited cannabis plants

The last 9 months and the aggressive business moves by Ultra Health, LLC and Duke Rodriguez with in the Medical Cannabis Program is another item that needs prompt attention. Mr. Rodriguez and his turnkey business, Ultra Health, have been allowed to bypass the application process to gain control of NM Top Organics. How was a out of state operator, who at one point in Gilbert (AZ) provided a fake permit to that City for a medical cannabis dispensary, be allowed into the program here in New Mexico in this manner ?

"Section 2. PURPOSE OF ACT.--The purpose of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act is to allow the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments."

In this newspaper article : ( ), Mr. Rodriguez clearly lays out a plan that completely goes agains the purpose of the medical cannabis program; as he currently runs 5 dispensaries and wants to open 13 additional dispensaries. A monopoly is a situation in which a single company or group owns all or nearly all of the market for a given type of product or service. By definition, monopoly is characterized by an absence of competition, which often results in high prices and inferior products.  Ultra Health has also been pushing for a unlimited plant count on growing cannabis in the medical program; this was done in Arizona lead by Ultra Health there and did not provide what they claimed it would it was only done to take grow rights away from patients to increase profits.

With in this same article Mr. Rodriguez also promotes and speaks of legalizing cannabis for recreational use by the end of this current year to fix medicaid in the state. Now how is this?
Ultra Health has clearly come into a Compassionate Use medical program, from Arizona where they have several lawsuits pending, to stage their business here in New Mexico for recreational use cannabis within the Medical Program.  How could the DoH MCP have allowed this?
Remember the last time Mr. Rodriguez tried to fix medicaid in the New Mexico as Health and Human Services Director and a program called "PROGRESS" - he about destroyed the program in the late 1990's and was run out of the state by the State Supreme Court.  

In recent months and weeks we have seen a lot of Ultra Health in the news, they attempted to get a Balloon in Balloon Fiesta with there logo on it, they are now a financial sponsor of the Gathering of Nations event, they sadly even produced a commercial on YouTube showing Native American children dancing in ceremonial costume.

  • “State Fair managers decided late Thursday to bar the display after state Department of Health officials said that Ultra Health lacked authorization to display a cannabis plant in public, Thompson said.

    The Department of Health, the state agency that oversees the medical cannabis program, said in a written statement Friday that Ultra Health may have violated the state’s medical cannabis law by displaying a plant outside a secured production facility.

    “We are looking into the matter to determine what if any disciplinary action is appropriate,” DOH spokesman David Morgan said in a written statement.

    The state’s Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act law calls for “cannabis production facilities within New Mexico housed on secured grounds and operated by licensed producers.”

Ultra Health did this as a rogue move, without support from the medical cannabis patient community and other producers potentially burning a bridge for this to be done right like in the Oregon State Fair this year. And by signing the New Mexico State Fair 2016 Application Ultra Health violated the Vendor Rules
"The Fair reserves the right to prohibit the sale and display of any product the Fair deems objectionable. It will be the sole decision of the Fair to determine whether an item is offensive or in poor taste. The display, sale, or distribution of weapons (firearms, knives, mace, martial art items, chains, etc.), toy weapons, fireworks, drug related merchandise or paraphernalia, pornographic materials, offensive wording or graphics of any type, and counterfeit or “knock-off” items” are prohibited unless authorized under the terms of the Space Agreement executed by the Fair.
The Space Agreement may be terminated immediately and the Contractor may be immediately evicted from the Fairgrounds if the Contractor engages in the sale of counterfeit goods." -2016 State Fair Vendor Manual
Concessionaires and exhibitors assume full responsibility for the character, acts, and conduct of all
persons under its employ and direction. Fair reserves the right to remove any person deemed by Fair to be detrimental to the Fair or the operations of its business. The New Mexico State Fair mission is to host a safe and family-friendly entertainment environment for the State of NM.
Intoxication, use of or possession of any controlled substance, or impolite, discourteous or obscene speech or conduct toward, or in the hearing range of the public will not be tolerated and is grounds for termination of the Space Agreement at the sole discretion of the Fair." -2016 State Fair Vendor Manual

No booties, gloves, hair net, or lab coat. And a member of SSDP.
This was taken at UH grow in albq



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