Public meeting held on medical cannabis card delays

The New Mexico State Capitol, known as 'The Roundhouse.'

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – As the backlog of applications for the state’s Medical Cannabis Program continues, groups are looking for answers.

However, no one from the Department of Health showed up to a hearing to address the medical marijuana ID card backlog in Santa Fe.

The backlog has left medical cannabis patients waiting 60 or more days to receive their cards, leaving thousands of people without medicine. But a state statute says it should only take 30 days.

Advocacy groups say the problem has been ongoing for seven months now. Thursday, the public is invited to a meeting at the New Mexico State Capitol in Santa Fe.

State Auditor Tim Keller, as well as a representative with the Department of Health said health officials are out of compliance with state law.

Last month, Keller called on the Department of Health to make changes, warning they could face a full audit.

At last check, the Department of Health was still working on hiring more staff to review applications.

They say within the last year they have had nearly 10,000 people apply for the program.

Groups are now asking for a contingency plan for patients waiting on new cards.

The Department of Health says people whose cards are set to expire should start the renewal process 60 days early.

They also ask applicants to make sure their forms are completely filled out as to not cause further delays for others.

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