ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., April 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the first time, New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program exceeded 50,000 patients, reaching 50,954 as of March 31, 2018, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.
The current enrollment is 46 percent higher than the 34,909 patient enrollment as of March 31, 2017. The program has grown by over 16,000 patients in this last year, adding over 4,300 alone in the first quarter of 2018.
In 2007, The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act was signed into law making New Mexico the 12th state to legalize cannabis for medical use. Since then, 17 more states have passed their own medical cannabis legislation and nine states have fully legalized cannabis for social use.
On April 2, 2018, The Albuquerque City Council voted to decriminalize low level cannabis possession, marking another historical moment of cannabis reform in New Mexico. The city’s criminal code will make it a civil infraction to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and cannabis paraphernalia, punishable by a $25 fine without jail time. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller is expected to sign the decriminalization ordinance in the next two weeks.
Previously, those possessing an ounce or less would face a $50 fine as well as potential jail time of up to 15 days.
“The City of Albuquerque has made a critical next step forward in cannabis reform by decriminalizing small amounts of cannabis,” said Duke Rodriguez, CEO and President of Ultra Health®. “While we believe no one should be put in jail for low level possession, it is equally important that New Mexicans be given the choice to legally obtain their cannabis from a safe and regulated source.”
Patient enrollment in New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program is expected to surpass 65,000 cardholders by December 31, 2018, and the program is expected to generate more than $100 million in revenue for 2018.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/73c4b2d8-eab7-4186-94c5-2433be10d391
Contact: Marissa Novel 480-404-6699