New Mexico relaxes medical cannabis plant limits, so prices should ease

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New Mexico regulators enacted an emergency rule that more than quintuples the medical marijuana plant count limit to 2,500 per grower, a development that should lower MMJ prices and increase supplies and sales.

The 180-day emergency rule was in response to a November court ruling in which a district judge struck down the state’s 450-plant limit as being arbitrary.

The judge’s ruling was seen a big win for the industry, which had complained that it was hamstrung by New Mexico’s strict plant-count limits.

Indeed, UltraHealth, a medical marijuana operator with 23 dispensaries statewide, hailed the decision and attributed it to a “significant collaboration” between the state and cannabis industry.

Here are some key elements of the New Mexico medical cannabis industry:

  • A more relaxed plant-count limit is considered critical to boosting MMJ markets.
  • The emergency rule expires Aug. 28. UltraHealth has pledged to work with the state to develop a permanent rule that “will provide an adequate supply for current and future medical cannabis patients statewide.”
  • In its emergency amendment, the state continued to defend the concept of plant-count limits, saying the restrictions help ensure access to medical cannabis “without fear of interference from the federal government.”
  • New Mexico currently has roughly 67,000 patients enrolled in its medical cannabis program, according to state regulators. The state has licensed 35 nonprofit producer and provisioning businesses.
  • Marijuana Business Factbook estimated New Mexico’s 2018 sales would reach $80 million-$120 million, up from $55 million-$75 million in 2017.

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