Categories: Marijuana Politics

New Mexico Issues First Medical Marijuana Cards to Non-Residents

New Mexico has issued its first medical marijuana cards to people living outside the state after retailer Ultra Health secured victory in a court battle.

The New Mexico Department of Public Health previously insisted that only residents of the state could enrol in its medical marijuana program. Ultra Health had already been marketing its products to people in neighbouring Texas, where medical marijuana is outlawed, and it decided to mount a legal challenge.

It proved to be successful when District Judge Bryan Biedscheid ruled last month that the Department of Health must begin issuing medical marijuana cards to all qualifying patients, regardless of where they live. The state said it intends to appeal, but Ultra Health claimed it will be difficult to overturn the court order.

The firm’s chief executive lives in Arizona and he has successfully secured a medical marijuana card from the New Mexico Department of Public Health. Ultra Health reported that two people in Texas have also received cards to purchase medical marijuana in New Mexico, and that could open the floodgates for people in Texas.


Medical marijuana is legal in Arizona, so there is less of a need for its residents to cross over the border to secure cannabis. Recreational marijuana remains outlawed in Arizona, although a 16-page draft measure called the Smart and Safe Arizona Act is bidding to change that.

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The proposal was filed in early August and the Legislative Council reviewed it last week before raising a number of recommendations. The backers of the bill are now making tweaks to it before re-filing it.

The state’s medical marijuana dispensaries have funded the compilation of the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, and it aims to allow adults to purchase up to an ounce for recreational use. They want recreational sales to be restricted to their existing dispensaries, while they are proposing a sales tax of 16%, which would go towards regulation, community colleges, and public safety.

New Mexico is also exploring the possibility of legalizing recreational cannabis use and a bipartisan taskforce has held public meetings on the feasibility of ushering in a regulated industry. The group recently met with state regulators from Colorado later this month to learn how the industry is flourishing there.

The opinions provided in this article are those of the author and do not constitute investment advice. Readers should assume that the author and/or employees of Grizzle hold positions in the company or companies mentioned in the article. For more information, please see our Content Disclaimer.

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Martin Green

Martin Green is an experienced journalist with a strong focus on the cannabis, alcohol, and gambling industries. He is particularly interested in the political issues affecting the global marijuana trade, and he has a keen focus on regulation changes and legal topics. He holds a BA English Literature, MA Creative Writing and a National Qualification in Journalism diploma. He has worked in journalism since 2009 and written for a broad range of newspapers, business titles and magazines, including The Sun, The Metro, The Journal, Livestrong, Drinks Retailing News, Harpers, Sportsbook Review, Vital Football, Essex Live and Surrey Live.

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