A New Mexico judge has ruled that recent changes to the regulations affecting the state’s medical marijuana program mean that out of state residents will now qualify to buy cannabis at government-run dispensaries.
“The [word] replacement is a clear sign of legislative intent to widen the reach of eligibility for the New Mexico medical cannabis program,” wrote Santa Fe Judge Bryan Biedscheid, who presided over the proceeding.
The state senator who sponsored the legislation that changed the language of the bill, Democrat Jerry Ortíz y Pino, said that the revision was originally due to a desire to cover individuals who had their medical marijuana cards in other states, or “reciprocal patients.”
But Biedscheid said that the current language means that it is a violation for the state’s Department of Health and its Medical Cannabis Program to even require a New Mexico ID card in registering for the medical marijuana program. The judge suggested that college students and visiting professionals would be the beneficiaries of the expansion of access.
But the apparent policy shift has raised alarms in some of New Mexico’s neighboring states, and particularly in Texas, whose medical marijuana program is strictly limited to cannabis oil with a THC