September 24, 2019

Judge: State still can’t deny medical cannabis cards to out-of-state residents

A judge reaffirmed his ruling that out-of-state residents are eligible for medical cannabis cards on Monday.

State District Court Judge Bryan Biedscheid again ordered the state Department of Health to provide medical cannabis cards to those non-New Mexico residents who qualify for the state’s program. The state had previously provided cards to three non-residents. But it had not given cards to other non-residents not part of the initial court filing.

Monday, the judge also ordered DOH to begin giving cards to other non-residents who qualify for the program.

The order comes after a change in language to the law governing the state’s medical cannabis program. The state says it was a drafting error and the bill’s sponsor said it was not his intention to allow out-of-state residents to qualify for New Mexico medical cannabis cards.

That doesn’t mean the battle is over.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office had moved to intervene in the case after a prominent New Mexico cannabis provider, Duke Rodriguez, filed a writ of mandamus seeking the change. 

According to the Albuquerque Journal, a spokeswoman for the state DOH said the department will appeal the case.