DOH may withdraw medical pot changes


ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Department of Health may be scaling back on new proposals to the state’s medical marijuana program.

Among proposed changes officials have now backed away from are criminal background checks for patients approved to grow their own pot.

Last month, a public meeting in Santa Fe got heated with one person after another bashing the health department’s ideas for proposed changes.

Now the DOH says they intend to withdraw some of them, including the reduction in pot plants for those who grow their own medicine. And they will amend the proposed rule regarding fees for licensed producers. The original idea was to have a patient registry fee of $50 a year.

Each topic was highly criticized by medical marijuana patients.

But if proposed changes are significantly different, they could have another public meeting.

“The whole driving force for this is to take a look at what we’re doing and increase production to meet the needs of patients,” Kenny Vigil with DOH said.

A survey done by the DOH last year found that there wasn’t enough medical marijuana to meet patient demand. So part of the changes will likely increase production and growth, but there is no timeframe for when this will happen.

None of the proposed changes are finalized.

The DOH expects to receive the hearing officer’s report before the end of the month. Then, it’ll be up to the secretary to implement changes.

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