New Mexico Court of Appeals Affirms Favorable Writ of Mandamus Ruling

Ultra Health suit against the New Mexico Department of Health regarding distribution locations stands

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., July 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ultra Health, New Mexico’s #1 Cannabis Company, received a favorable ruling from the New Mexico Court of Appeals on July 22, 2021, affirming the decision made in the Thirteenth Judicial District in October 2018.

Ultra Health filed a petition for alternative writ of mandamus in August 2018 after the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) refused to designate the operator’s additional dispensary locations.

In October 2018, Chief Judge Louis P. McDonald ordered NMDOH to designate two of Ultra Heath's outstanding dispensary locations, issue license amendments to Ultra Health in response to “any and all past/future applications for additional distribution locations that meet statutory criteria,” and process future license amendments submitted by Ultra Health in a timely and legally compliant manner.

The New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld Judge McDonald’s decision. The 14-page ruling provides a thoughtful legal analysis written by Judge Briana H. Zamora, who was recently appointed to the New Mexico Supreme Court by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.

“[DOH] asserts the district court improperly relied solely upon the statutory provision relating to location and did not consider the Act as a whole when it concluded that DOH did not have discretion to deny the applications. In contrast, Ultra Health’s position is that the Legislature did not confer DOH discretion,” wrote Judge Zamora.

“We hold that the writ of mandamus was properly issued because (1) Ultra Health complied with the statutory requirements set forth by the Legislature and the Act sets forth only a ministerial duty with respect to distribution locations and, (2) DOH conceded that Ultra Health had no right to an administrative appeal from a denial of an application for an amended license,” Judge Zamora continued.

Since Judge McDonald’s original ruling, Ultra Health has expanded access to thousands of patients statewide by opening 16 dispensaries, a majority of which are in rural locations.

Ultra Health is New Mexico’s #1 Cannabis Company and the largest minority-owned cannabis company in the United States. The vertically integrated provider currently operates 25 dispensary locations statewide, with another 10 stores slated to open by the third quarter of 2021. Ultra Health’s cultivation and production footprint exceeds 15 million square feet in the state of New Mexico. Ultra Health provides unparalleled medical cannabis care by producing accurately dosed, smokeless cannabis products such as sublingual tablets, oils, pastilles, suppositories and more through its partnership with Israeli pharmaceutical group Panaxia. Ultra Health has been at the forefront of patient-rights issues and continues to fight for adequate supply and rural access in the New Mexico cannabis market.

Contact:Marissa Novel 480-404-6699