Jan 23, 2017 12:20 PM

Will New Mexico Expand Its Cannabis Program?

A new bill, aimed to expand cannabis rights in New Mexico, has recently appeared in the state’s Senate. According to the new measure, both patients and growers will have increased access to marijuana.

The new initiative, known as Senate Bill 8, seeks to increase the amount of plants that can be legally grown by licensed cannabis cultivators. The state’s marijuana program currently allows cultivation of 450 plants. With the new measure, growers will be able to cultivate up to 1,000 cannabis specimens during three-month time-frame.

The bill is also going to increase the number of cannabis that registered medical marijuana patients may possess. The figure may change from eight ounces over a 90-day period to five ounces over a 30-day period.

New Mexico Senator Cisco McSorley hopes that the new law will provide plenty of benefits to patients and growers, as well as the state at large. A new measure will also decrease the currently high level of bureaucracy, which usually slows down the process of providing access to cannabis to those who desperately need it.

Another innovation under the new law is ID cards for patients. The cards will be issued by the state Health Department no later than 30 days after a patient submits an application. Those suffering from debilitating or chronic medical conditions will also have a right to extend the validity of their ID cards for up to three years.

There are approximately 33,000 patients currently enrolled in New Mexico cannabis program. Although the state is expanding rights of medical marijuana patients, it still has one of the strictest policies in the nation concerning recreational cannabis. First offenders found in possession of up to one ounce of the herb are usually punished by 15 days in jail and up to $100 in fines.

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