A New Mexico court has ruled in favor of a coalition of licensed medical cannabis producers.
However, one medical cannabis patient authorized to grow at home, essentially overturning the state’s safety and labeling protocols.
These protocols adopted by the Department of Health (DOH) last year, according to the NM Political Report.
The group first sued the state on the grounds the new rules requiring heavy metal and pesticide testing.
They said these were “arbitrary and capricious” and would result in high prices for patients, according to the NM Political Report.
First Judicial District Court Judge Bryan Biedscheid did not rule on the “merits” of the new rules.
Only that the state did not follow the proper procedures when adopting the changes.
He also said that the rules lacked “substantial evidence”.
New Mexico Court Overturns Burdensome Cannabis Safety & Testing Rules
Also, the DOH did not consult the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board when developing the program.
the court took that extra step and invalidated the entire new batch of regulations.
“The Court hopes that its additional findings and conclusions provide some guidance to the Department on remand and avoid additional remands due to lack of substantial evidence,” Judge Biedscheid wrote.
Additionally, the ruling overturns producers’ ability to increase their plant count under certain circumstances.
This throws out a consumption area provision.
According to the report, no medical cannabis producer in the state had yet taken advantage of.
The Department of Health already had testing and labeling requirements in place.
This is prior to the new regulations, so the New Mexico cannabis industry will return to its previous testing and labeling standards in New Mexico.
However, it is unclear if the legislature or DOH will take the issue up again;
the DOH said it was “aware” of the judge’s ruling and is currently “evaluating options.”
The legislature, meanwhile, may be too busy looking forward to adult-use cannabis regulations in the state.
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