Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cyber-Attack on Nevada’s MMJ Program Registry

Photo Credit:Herb.co

Nevada’s medical marijuana application system leaked the personal information of nearly 12,000 registry applicants. The state shut down the medical marijuana portal on Dec. 8 after a “problem” was identified and opened an investigation into the issue, a state spokeswoman said last week.
Those vulnerabilities were corrected and the division was “given the go ahead” to restore the online portal on December 15th 2016.
Then after becoming aware of the most recent data breach, the state has just closed the medical cannabis establishment portal for the second time this month. The portal houses those documents, as well as medical cannabis cardholder information. Nevada’s medical cannabis program uses BioTrackTHC seed to sale software system.

“The entire portal has been taken down,” Division of Public and Behavioral Health Administrator Cody Phinney said in a news release Wednesday afternoon.

A spokesperson for the Nevada Dept. Health and Human Services, which runs the medical marijuana application program, told technology news site ZDNet that the website was pulled offline to limit the vulnerability. Each eight-page application calls for the person’s social security number, driver's license number and full address in addition to details like height, weight and eye color, ZDNet reported.

A glitch in the state’s medical cannabis program portal on Nevada’s government website made all information on the thousands of applications accessible to the entire internet. Security researcher Justin Shafer first discovered the site’s vulnerability — which allows anyone with either a legitimate application or the correct web address access to the revealing PDFs — after a simple Google search.

The spokesperson for the Nevada Dept. Health and Human Services  added that the leaked data was a "portion" of one of several databases.

The state’s medical cannabis program website portal reports the following:

ONLINE PATIENT REGISTRY TEMPORARILY DOWNOur apologies, the online patient registry is temporarily down.  It will be restored as soon as possible.  While the online patient registry is down, renewal applications can be requested by the means listed below: 1.       Email a request to:  mmregistry@health.nv.gov2.       Fax a request to: 775-684-32133.       Mail a request to: 4150 Technology Way, suite 101, Carson City, NV 89706


Nevada legalized medical cannabis in 2000 with uses limited to cancer patients and those with HIV and AIDS as well as other chronic conditions. In the most recent election, the Silver State joined California, Massachusetts and Maine in legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes.



Related Story:

Tracking BioTrackTHC.

Photo Credit: BioTrackTHC
By Jason Barker (Medical Cannabis Patient & Organizer -LECUA Patient’s Coalition Of New Mexico)
BioTrackTHC’s primary focus is a point-of-sale software system for medical and recreational cannabis. The system includes compliance with state regulations, and it says it enables streamlined grow facility location tracking, inventory tracking, patient management, point-of-sale system and account reporting.  

Established in 2010, BioTrackTHC hopes to be global leader in cannabis traceability technology. As providers of both business management and government oversight software, BioTrackTHC provides experience necessary to navigate regulations and enforce compliance across varying landscapes according to their website.

BioTrackTHC is a division of Bio-Tech Medical Software, Inc. A Florida based company founded in 2007, for development of biometric e-prescribing software system for hospitals, healthcare providers, and pharmacies to track pills like opioids. BioTrackTHC charges it’s more than 1,600 clients, with software costs from $250 to $1050 a month for use, plus a $1,500 set-up fee of its software depending on the size of the cultivation facility and dispensary. Data entry requirements are intense enough that BioTrack recommends every business hires another full-time employee to keep up.

With offices now in Denver, Colorado, and Washington state whose team members boast over 50 combined years in the medical industry. “This vast level of knowledge offers us a significant edge in the cannabis market. We have been developing software to advance industries and patient rights for nearly a decade and now we are ready to bring that same level of understanding and determination to the cannabis industry.” -Steven Siegal, CEO. Now, operating in over 20 different states and in 4 countries.

BioTrackTHC has recently been under fire from cannabis growers and dispensary owners in several states. Those who pay thousands of dollars a year for the software service, still say it could be significantly improved.

Tai Saito, the compliance and warehouse manager for Buddy Boy Farms in eastern Washington state, said a major problem for his company – which pays roughly $430 a month to BioTrackTHC for its commercial version – is that it doesn’t automatically sync with the free platform. That means an employee has to manually synchronize the two systems on a weekly basis to ensure that the inventory the farm is entering is also updated in the state system. That was a glitch he didn’t realize until a state inspector asked about it, “We could have been written a violation due to some technical issue in BioTrack that we had no idea about,” he said in a March 2016 interview with MJBizDaily.

Department of Health officials in Washington state report on their web site in early July 2016 that some third party commercial traceability software systems are requesting patient information. Such as: conditions, history, and notes. In other words, that there had been a potential breach of patient confidentiality within a week of the patient database's launch, which is what the department spent a year and a half assuring residents of Washington would not happen.

At a recent August training session for ‪‎BioTrackTHC‬ held in Eureka, California, the instructor spelled “‪‎Humboldt”‬ wrong (he forgot the D), his response when this was pointed out - "I didn't think people in Humboldt could read!"...

A few medical cannabis dispensaries in Albuquerque, New Mexico have even had days where they had to close early due to BioTrackTHC software operational issues. I saw first hand, working in a dispensary in Albuquerque, of the software program issues and how it even caused a delay in availability of medical cannabis products for patients.  And recently in New Mexico, an increasing number of medical cannabis patients with the new BioTrackTHC microchip ID card, have had problems being told they have exceeded allowable limits or “units”. Thus, being prevented from buying medicine when they should be allowed to.

These problem with the seed-to-sale providers, like BioTrackTHC, is that they all require extensive data entry. Often the data entry needs to be duplicated to be entered into the state system, which is sometimes not integrated. Add to that the logistics of managing an all cash business, and you have the makings of the nightmare that is a growers or dispensary owner’s life. Not to mention the challenge of using an inventory system for a product that evaporates and falls off without any sale or theft. T-shirts rarely evaporate, so they are either on the shelf, sold, or stolen. Cannabis, however, will evaporate while it’s in the safe storage waiting to be sold — like Houdini with a skunk smell.

Addressing these challenges with a much needed user-friendly software update is a must for BioTrackTHC. Along with a better understanding of the Emerald Triangle and the crucial role it’s played in cultivating the industry it now does business in.   And easing integration between programs to index and track licensed cannabis farmers’ plants to make sure none go missing on their way from grow facility to dispensary to medical patient. That requires effectively tracking the barcodes affixed to the plants, as well as making sure the data can be exported to business software programs such as QuickBooks or Excel.

These kinds of controls are designed to keep cannabis business owners on the right side of the law, and also let them run the rest of the business knowing these systems are in place. For example, if cannabis needs to be tested for heavy metals,  mold, and bacteria before sold. The system will not allow the product to be placed on a updated manifest for sale, unless it has valid test results associated with it. One may argue that there is no real market for this level of sophistication needed for a simple plant. The cannabis industry already has more technology than almost any industry out there as it developed under prohibition.

A few other POS business systems listed on Google for the cannabis industry include Greenbits and MJ Freeway. Another app tool, FlowHub, includes the ability to use iPhones and iPads to scan bar codes.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Survey Says… Higher Learning Needed at Dispensaries


Photo Credit:MJbizdaily

Do you trust budtenders at your local dispensary? Many medical cannabis patients tend to rely on staff at a dispensary to offer recommendations on the best possible strain or cannabis product to treat their respective health condition. A new report finds that most dispensary employees actually have very little training on what they are talking about when it comes to connecting sick people with the right form of cannabis. Scientists have found that only 55% of dispensary employees, surveyed in the study, had received any formal training for their current positions. The other 45% hadn’t had any formal educational training on cannabis or cannabis products at all.


As a medical cannabis patient myself, I encountered this exact situation on Christmas Eve day while in a medical cannabis dispensary.  Witnessing a dispensary employee advising a medical cannabis patient of how there is no real medical value to dabs. Now here in lies the irony, I was placing my order for CBD BHO and some indica BHO and was pretty close to needing to use it on the spot…the dispensary provides a suggestion box and it was utilized.


The report just out, titled “Training and Practices of Cannabis Dispensary Staff”, this December in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, was conducted by California researchers and found that only 20 percent of the employees who received training were taught specialized medical or scientific information. But nearly all (94 percent) of staff gave dosage recommendations to patients.


The staff members studied worked at both medical or non medical cannabis dispensaries in Colorado, California, Arizona, Oregon, District of Columbia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine. Only 20% have any medical background on the health effects of marijuana, and just 13% had received any education on the science of the medical cannabis, researchers have found. Furthermore, some of the dispensary employees in the study had made suggestions to people who were purchasing medical cannabis that wasn’t appropriate for treating their customers’ conditions, said lead study author Nancy Haug, a professor at Palo Alto University in California.

From the report researchers have found that 13% of the employees studied said they had suggested types of cannabis that had high levels of THC to patients who intended to use the cannabis for anxiety treatment. However, previous research has shown that THC may actually worsen anxiety, Haug told Live Science. THC was also suggested by 7% to treat epilepsy, when studies have shown that CBD oil may work better, Haug stated.

Participants were asked by the researchers about their job duties and whether they had training related to their job, and what types of cannabis they usually suggested to people with particular conditions.

Research findings reveal more focus on sales training with 35% of the dispensary employees having had received customer service training and 26% had received business training. While only 20% had received medical training, and 13% had received scientific training. Another 20% had received some other type training that might have involved cannabis education. Almost 100% of the participants said that they had given advice to customers. That advice included suggesting which strains of cannabis they should use and offering advice to the customers on the benefits of cannabis for particular symptoms. The participants said the most common symptoms reported by their customers were chronic anxiety, pain, and insomnia.


Employees were also more likely to suggest cannabis with high levels of CBD and equal ratios of THC to CBD for people with epilepsy and muscle spasms rather than suggesting cannabis with high levels of THC. Results have shown that dispensaries should formally train their employees. This education should be based on findings from up-to-date scientific literature on cannabis, Haug stated.
It’s not all bad news though.  


In Washington, the state requires all licensed and medically endorsed cannabis retail stores to have a certified medical cannabis consultant on staff to work with patients. Many fully-accredited universities are now offering cannabis training courses. Schools like the University of Colorado, Oregon State University, Santa Clara University and The Ohio State University offer some cannabis courses that cover issues like cannabis business financing, cannabis economics, consumer demographics and job creation.
The American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) and TMCI have collaborated to develop the first comprehensive online medical cannabis curriculum available.. Topics include the Endocannabinoid System, Dosing, Psychiatry, Medical Risks and Legal Implications. The curriculum features 12 lessons from 11 different authors available online by The Medical Cannabis Institute. Another great educational resource is by a company called Green Flower Media. It’s an online educational platform that provides courses people can take. Live streams of events, some really exciting work with summits. Their presentations are streamed all over the world, where people can ask questions and engage on an interactive platform.


Seed to consumption national quality standards also now exist for the medical cannabis industry thanks to the 2011 collaboration of Americans for Safe Access, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP). This unique collaboration combines the expertise of ASA, the nation’s largest medical cannabis patient advocacy organization; AHPA, the principal U.S. trade association and voice of the herbal products industry since 1982; and the AHP, an organization that has developed qualitative and therapeutic monographs on Western herbs since 1994. The result is that patients, healthcare providers, lawmakers, regulators, and medical cannabis businesses now have the tools they need to ensure reliable, high-quality hemp, medical cannabis, and medical cannabis products.


The study concluded that employees were more likely to suggest cannabis with equal ratios of CBD to THC for people with PTSD, anxiety, Crohn’s disease, or Trauma rather than suggesting cannabis that have high levels of THC. This is in line with what experts suggested, the researchers stated.

Still, the main takeaway from the study is that a lot more work needs to be done in order to get dispensary workers trained to provide professional guidance to those looking for help. Educational standards can also play a key role in keeping dispensaries from over regulation and looking like the bland pharmacy at a grocery store.  The cannabis industry is the fastest growing industry in America, education and understanding of medical cannabis should be a cornerstone for business owners and their employees alike. “If you’re not actively making your community a better place, then you’re passively making it worse”, says Rachael Speegle, Registered Nurse and dispensary owner in New Mexico.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Renewable Resources to Reform the State and it’s Budget Deficit


Cannabis, Hemp, Geothermal Energy, Solar, Wind and a paid State Legislature.
By Jason Barker - medical cannabis patient & advocate with LECUA Patients Coalition of New Mexico


New Mexico’s economy continues to be one of the slowest growing economies in the country.  The state budget shortfalls for 2016 totals near $600 million, and this slow economic growth by the state reveals too much dependence on the federal government and oil revenues. The special session called for the state legislature only resulted in more cuts to the budget and party politics taking away from the purpose of the special session.

Those sources of New Mexico's economic malaise provide funding for Education, Veterans Programs,  Police/ Firefighter Funding, and Health and Human Services programs like Medicaid.  New Mexico is also a state where half of all New Mexicans are on medicaid or medicare.

New Mexico is ranked as the worst-run state in the country with some of the worst social and economic outcomes. Only a handful of states struggle with similar levels of extreme poverty as New Mexico. More than one in every 10 households in the state earns less than $10,000 each year, the second highest proportion after Mississippi. The state also struggles with one of the nation’s highest violent crime rates. Close to 600 violent crimes are reported each year per 100,000 state residents, one of the highest rates nationwide.

Of the three most crucial budget demands upon the state: Public Schools, Medicaid, and Higher Education. Combined they are the true economic and social multiplier with the greatest opportunity of success for the state’s residents and the state’s economy.

The state has the renewable resources to potentially provide 1,000 times more clean energy than the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s current demand, according to the state Energy Conservation and Management Division.  

The state of New Mexico should legalize cannabis and hemp to first and foremost start paying the state legislators.  A hybrid state legislature: Meeting for most of the year and pays the legislators as full-time employees. They can serve the constituents much better because of their extended time in office and ability to devote more time to each issue. New Mexico is the only state with a unsalaried legislature. Some lawmakers such as Democratic Rep. Antonio Maestas say a salary would increase the pool of talent to fill the seats.  Maestas says few people can afford to serve in a citizen Legislature.  Political Action Committee’s growth and influence in New Mexico politics has more than doubled in the last 10 years.  All the larger municipalities and counties in New Mexico provide salaries for city councilors and county commissioners.

We have a paid rather than volunteer fire departments, law enforcement, health-care workers, and teachers, to name a few. The reason is that we rightly expect increased reliability, productivity, and professionalism when we pay for services as opposed to them being provided voluntarily.

Providing funding for a paid legislature and state budget reform can be achieved with cannabis and hemp legalization; in conjunction with the utilization of solar, wind, and geothermal energy sources. Hemp is refined into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil medicine, wax, resin/plastics, rope, cloth, pulp, paper, and fuel. This will create jobs, has vast potential for the state universities to benefit, and creates a new business market to keep college graduates in New Mexico.

Colorado cannabis tax revenues now greatly exceeds original estimates of $70 million per year. Canada has had industrial hemp since 1998, and farmers there have reported net profits of $200 to $250 per acre. Most Canadian hemp is exported to the United States. The Colorado Tourism Office reports that 12% are visiting Colorado dispensaries and 5% specifically due to cannabis legalization there. The activities that cannabis tourist reported engaging in included: sightseeing and wine tours, historical sites, hiking, camping, mountain biking, winter snow sports, nightlife, festivals and farmers' markets, according to the survey.  All great activities we have in New Mexico with a Balloon Fiesta to boot.
New Mexico can be a leader and pioneer in cannabis, hemp,  and the sciences of medical cannabis. We need to define a policy model for cannabis legalization by regulating and taxing cannabis like herbal and nutritional supplements. And by combining the high standards of alcohol regulation specific to the craft brewery regulations we have in New Mexico. As all use of cannabis has true therapeutic and medical benefits and the state budget can benefit from it under proper regulation. Legalization Is About Freedom And Good Health, Not Greed.


Monday, December 5, 2016

Medical Cannabis Demand, Adequate Supply and a Plant Count Tax


A look at how some New Mexico Legislators see medical cannabis as a new revenue source…
Part one in two part series.
Photo Credit: Herb.co

New Mexico’s economy continues to be one of the slowest growing economies in the country.  The state budget shortfalls for 2016 totals near $600 million, and this slow economic growth by the state reveals too much dependence on largess by the federal government and oil revenues. The special session called by the Governor for the state legislature, that resulted in more cuts to the budget and party politics taking away from the purpose of the special session. Those sources of New Mexico's economic malaise provide funding for educating the youth,  police and fire department services and for Health and Human Services programs like Medicaid.  New Mexico is also a state, where half of all New Mexicans are on medicaid or medicare.

The New Mexico medical cannabis program has seen tremendous growth in 2016, more than doubling the number of registered participants from 14,000 New Mexicans last year to 32,840 at the end of October 2016.  There are 35 licensed producers growing medical cannabis, operating 41 dispensaries around the state, and 23 of these dispensaries are located in the Albuquerque area.  Current state law does not limit the number of plants that can be grown by the state’s licensed producers. Each one of the licensed producers is can choose to grow up to 450 medical cannabis plants, the maximum allowed under the Department of Health program rules and regulations. The department may issue two classes of producer licenses; to a qualified patient who holds a valid personal production license and to a non-profit producer who operates a facility.

A qualified patient who holds a valid personal production license is authorized to possess no more than four mature female plants and a combined total of 12 seedlings and male plants, and may possess no more than an adequate supply of usable cannabis, as specified in department rule.  A non-profit licensed producer that operates a facility and, at any one time, is limited to a combined total of no greater than 450 mature female plants, seedlings and male plants.
Photo Credit: Vice News
The state’s medical cannabis program (MCP) was created in 2007,  under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, chapter 210 Senate Bill 523. The purpose of this 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.  The purpose of this law is not to provide a potential revenue stream for the state to mend its broken budget.

Due to the incredible growth in the medical cannabis program participants, there needs to be a clear increase to the plant count allowed for by the licensed producers from the Department of Health. In order for the Department of Health Medical Cannabis Program to allow for the beneficial treatment with medical cannabis, the Department must properly have “adequate supply”.  For the Department to have “adequate supply” they would need to know the different amounts of plant material that goes into all the different types of medicine being produced. Types of medicine used by patients in the program are; dried cannabis flower (bud), pre-rolls, edibles, tinctures, topicals/salves, and concentrated forms of cannabis all require different amounts of cannabis plant material to produce.

This is empirical data that has not been collected within the state’s medical cannabis program, despite a past attempt by legislator Deborah Armstrong.  This missed opportunity by the state legislature in 2015, further prevents the Department of Health from being able to set a proper plant count for each producer in the program for the means of achieving adequate supply within the medical cannabis program as required by law.  The 2016/17 licensure list for the medical cannabis program shows a total of 13,800 medical cannabis plants licensed by the 35 producers for the 33,000 patients in the program.  

During hearings of the Legislative Health and Human Services interim Committee this summer, many patients enrolled in the program stated that the recent expansion in supply was not adequate to support current demand.  There are over 33,000 New Mexicans authorized to purchase medical cannabis and there is less than 14,000 medical cannabis plants available to be grown by the producers. Producers have to pay an annual fee of $200 per plant, for a total of $90,000 each and that money underwrites the cost of Department of Health (DOH) administration of the program.

So what is the right plant count and adequate supply for the New Mexico medical cannabis program? Some states have restrictions on the number of plants producers are allowed to have and other states such as Nevada and Arizona have none. California and Washington limit the square
footage of plant production facilities and other states such as Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, and New
Hampshire limit plant counts based on patient need.

Photo Credit: NM Political Report

During the special session held by the state legislature in October 2016, Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-12-Bernalillo), sponsored the bill- No Medical Marijuana Plant Limits (SB3), SB3 increases the number of medical cannabis plants any one licensed producer can have under cultivation at a time. Testimony on the bill revealed that producers have to pay an annual fee of $200 per plant and the bill was amended to limit the number of plants any single producer can have under cultivation at any one time. A license holder’s production capacity cannot exceed 15% of the number of approved card holders at the time the producer applies for the expanded license. SB3 is a new tax on the medical cannabis plant and the “no limit” proposal on medical cannabis plants for the program has no scientific methodology provided in how it was determined by the bill’s sponsor.  The estimated increase in gross receipts tax (GRT) revenue from the sale of the additional cannabis plants is $3 to $5 million a year.
“In a year when we are looking for every available source of revenue or savings to balance the budget, I believe this small step could make a significant contribution to the budget picture,” said Sen. Ortiz y Pino. “Not only will it help this year, but it will help in subsequent years as the demand for medical marijuana and its derivatives increase.”  The state senator further commented, “The artificially low caps that are imposed by DOH have forced many patients who are unable to secure their medicine from licensed providers to attempt to grow their own medicine or even to purchase the plant product from illegal sources,” said Sen. Ortiz y Pino.  “There is no good policy reason to restrict the producers in this fashion.”  Nor does good policy come from one source.

Aside from clearly seeing that the medical cannabis program in New Mexico and its plant based medicine is now viewed as potential income resource by some state legislators thru more taxes,  and further-why is it stated that, “ ...DOH have forced many patients who are unable to secure their medicine from licensed providers to attempt to grow their own medicine”. As a patient in the program with my own personal production license, do I now need to be concern of this right being further jeopardized?
Any qualified Patients may apply for a license to grow their own supply of medical cannabis and every patient that has the ability should exercise this right. The license should be posted or kept near the growing area. A Personal Production License (PPL) allows Patients to have 4 mature plants and 12 seedlings at any given time.

What this would mean for the licensed producer; with near 33,000 patients in the program that 15% would be almost 5000 possible plants for each licensed producer to grow at a fee of $200 per plant. That is 1 million in fees for the licensed producer to grow 5000 medical cannabis plants, in addition to cost of expansion of current grow operations they have.  And not every producer in the program has unlimited capital, thus the potential for monopolized medical cannabis market and several dispensaries then closing.

For ensuring safe access to all areas of the the state of New Mexico and proper administering of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, by the New Mexico State Department of Health, this can be achieved by opening applications for producer licensure specific to rural expansion in the state and by providing a new plant count structure to provide adequate supply as follows;  
First, not all medical cannabis plants are the same. The cannabis plant contains dozens of cannabinoids. The most well known cannabinoid for a long time has been tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but as more scientific research is conducted involving cannabis and its ability to be used as a medicine, more and more people are learning about other cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol (CBD). Some plants have THC and others produce CBD, THC has psychoactive properties that affect your brain and give you a ‘runner’s high’ while CBD does not.
Photo Credit: Leaf Science
Making revisions to licensing requirements for medical cannabis licensed producers with a plant count for patients and producers properly structured and increased: Medical cannabis CBD strains at ratio of;  1.5 thc(or lower) : 1 cbd (or higher) should not be counted against patient or producer allowable plant count.  Medical cannabis clones and cuttings provided to qualified patient with a personal production license by a licensed producer should not count against the maximum allowable plant
count.

A plant count that is based on ratio of patients to serve with inclusion of empirical data for varying amounts cannabis plant material needed to manufacture different forms of medical cannabis medicine.  A plant count to provide a ratio of 3 THC medical cannabis plants per enrolled patient in conjunction with medical cannabis CBD strains having been removed from the plant count. And based on yearly program totals. Thus if there were 40,000 patients plus the 3 cannabis plants would equal 120,000 THC medical cannabis plants for 35 licensed producers equals 3,429 allowable medical cannabis plants (Minimum standard set by MCAB &  Plant Count adjusted yearly for program growth). Plant count increase structured to be 1715 plant increase by July 1st 2017 then another 1714 by July 1st 2018. Structuring this in phases will reduce the risk of crop problems and maintain high standards of quality for the medical cannabis plants.
   
Licensing fee structure changed and lowered to be as follows; the department shall assess a nonrefundable fee not greater than five hundred dollars ($500) for processing an application for a new or renewal license. For a new or renewal processor license, medical wholesale license or medical retail license, the department shall charge an annual license fee of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000). For a new or renewal production license, the department shall charge an annual license fee of: Fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000), if the producer will possess up to one hundred fifty cannabis plants; and an additional five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each additional fifty cannabis plants the producer will possess.  And this also will prevent a small number of the licensed producers from cornering the market of medical cannabis.
The per plant fee would be $100 for medical cannabis plants containing a THC content above the provided CBD ratio.  Licensure limit established allowing one licensed producer to have one grow location per three dispensary store fronts whereas current rules and regulation do not limit this.  All current producers would be granted additional license(s) per application review and program performance standards met. A time period for new producers to open needs to be established; 90-120 window of days then letter sent providing a warning and 45 days time, then final letter sent providing 30 days before forfeiture of license. Currently 6 of the 35 licensed producers are not open yet, well over a year after being awarded a license to produce medical cannabis.

A plant count structure like this would bring the state of New Mexico and the Department of Health in compliance with the intent of the law and uphold the spirit of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, 2007.  New Mexico’s medical cannabis history started in 1978.  After public hearings the legislature enacted H.B. 329, the nation’s first law recognizing the medical value of cannabis...the first law. The Department of Health should additional employ three staff members to provide medical cannabis health education statewide. The Department of Health should also establish a training and certification program for all dispensary employees.

Photo Credit: NM Political Report
For all New Mexicans our best platform to date for the legalization of cannabis, was not introduced in the New Mexico legislature 2016 special session as HB-11 (Cannabis Revenue & Freedom Act) by Bill McCamley and Javier Martinez .

Any resident seeking assistance in qualifying for the New Mexico Medical Cannabis program can find that thru the LECUA Patients Coalition of New Mexico. The LECUA Patients Coalition of New Mexico, as a grassroots organization, is the leader in New Mexico amongst medical cannabis patient groups. Providing the latest scientific and medical based research for medical cannabis for the: patients, prospective patients, community education & information, physicians / medical professionals, local & state organizations. Duke City Fitness & Wellness is set up as a FREE educational medical cannabis resource website.
Part two in this articles series, we’ll discuss patient adequate supply of medical cannabis,  properly defined, structured, and increase of adequate supply to a maximum quantity of usable cannabis increased to 425.243 grams per 3 months ( 2.5 ounces every two weeks ), patient cultivation rights and inclusion of patient collectives and cooperative medical cannabis cultivation. Under New Mexico law cardholders in the medical cannabis program are currently legally permitted to be in possession of 230 units (grams).
To contact your New Mexico state legislator and voice your opinion go to, Find My Legislator or call the roundhouse at (505) 986-4600
By Jason Barker
(Medical Cannabis Patient & Organizer -LECUA Patient’s Coalition Of New Mexico)
The solution provided above was derived from the following sources:
Americans For Safe Access, Colorado Medical Marijuana Program, Colorado Department of Revenue- An assessment of physical and pharmacokinetic relationships in marijuana production and consumption in Colorado,  Cannabis Yields and Dosing by Chris Conrad (court qualified cannabis expert), and the Hawaii Medical Cannabis Program-Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force Study 2015.
LECUAPCofNM Acronym.jpeg
Lynn & Erin Compassionate Use Act Patient’s Coalition of New Mexico ~ A GrassRoots Movement!
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(All Rights Reserved 04/20/2016)