Associated Press reports cannabis shortages in New Mexico’s program

My news source does not run many news stories about the situation in New Mexico, but the Associated Press just ran a story quoting a licensed cannabis producer and a patient as saying that New Mexico’s licensing system is too cautious and is not adequately supplying the market. This article states that New Mexico is a national model for the state-licensed dispensary system – e.g the model for the Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York laws; indeed, one of the first stories that ran after the first showdown with NJ Governor Chris Christie stated that the NM Department of Health confirmed that the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services had contacted it regarding NM’s program. Accordingly, if there is a problem with the operation of the state that is the model for the other second-generation states, the viability of that state’s model requires contemplation.

I have been saying that the trend seems to be onerous over-regulation as a means of preventing medical marijuana systems from functioning. This tactic is, at best, unfortunate since it negates what would have been a workable compromise. If the situation in California and Colorado frightens the states and localities, then the alternative is to require that suppliers get licensed before they open for business. However, if states adopt medical marijuana systems that do permit them to license suppliers, and ostensibly manage an orderly medical marijuana market, and then utilize this licensing power to prevent the effective functioning of the market, they effectively discredit further government regulation and demonstrate again why the citizenry first rose up in California against the drug war.

The next option may be to return medical marijuana entirely to the local, i.e. county, level, such that sympathetic localities permit the de facto operation of medical marijuana cultivation and dispensing. Perhaps the next step is for the citizenry of towns and counties to push their representatives to make declarations in support of workable medical marijuana supply programs.

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