Medical pot program overhaul draws criticism

From the Santa Fe New Mexican - By Phaedra Haywood - As the state Department of Health prepares to hold a public hearing Monday on proposed new rules for New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program, feedback already is pouring in from a variety of sources — much of it criticism.
     The Legislative Health and Human Services Committee this week sent a letter to Health Secretary Retta Ward, asking the department to hold off on adopting the proposed rules until the department has gathered more input from stakeholders and consulted its Medical Advisory Board.
     The legislative panel also wants the department to wait until the committee has had a chance to hold its own public meeting on the topic in July. “Our constituents have raised many concerns about these rules,” says the letter, signed by the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee chairman, Rep. James Roger Madelena, D-Jemez Pueblo, and Vice Chairman Gerald Ortiz Y Pino, D-Albuquerque. After hearing the concerns, the letter says, committee members voted unanimously to register written comments opposing the adoption of the proposed rule changes “until the DOH has engaged in further consultation with stakeholders and experts.”
     The proposed overhaul of the Medical Cannabis Program’s rules includes changes to almost every aspect of the program, from the numbers of plants a patient can grow — six instead of 12 — to what kind of testing nonprofit producers would be required to perform. more