Monday, June 13th 2016
LECUA Patient’s Coalition Of New Mexico
Jason Barker – Organizer & Medical Cannabis Patient
Medical Cannabis Program administrative delays continue to disrupt Safe Access to medicine.
The Medical Cannabis Program (MCP) was created under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. The purpose of this Act is to allow the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments. State law ( Title 7 Ch 34 Part 3 -22.214.171.124 ) requires patients be registered within 30 days by the Medical Cannabis Program Office after applying or renewing, but the department is taking between 60 and 90 days to complete this process. People within our medical cannabis community with debilitating medical conditions like; Cancer, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Post‐Traumatic Stress Disorder and the many other qualifying conditions have had their Safe Access to medical cannabis complete disrupted and left without medicine for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.
The faces of these medical cannabis patients are mothers, aunts, grandparents, armed forces veterans, former first responders, and survivors – no different than those in our community you’d see in a Walgreens. In pursuit of its mission, the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program issued an extensive RFP on July 22, 2014 for a software solution to maintain regulatory compliance. After extensive proposal evaluations and live software demonstrations, BioTrackTHC achieved a cannabis industry first: back-to-back government contract wins. Now with well over a year for the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program officials to prepare for this new software solution, it is the people in our medical cannabis community that are left suffering from the current delays.
It was clear in late January of 2016 that New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program was going to be dealing with long delays in the processing of renewal and new medical cannabis applications. No warning was provided to medical cannabis patients, doctors, or licensed non profit producers- of even a possibility of delays with the new software solution, the Department of Health has had almost two years to prepare for. Nor did one official from the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program Office or the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board even consider to think of providing a contingency plan to protect all of these medical cannabis patients and upholding the legal scope and spirit of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act; nor have they even attempted to resolve this Safe Access issue by providing a contingency plan now. The New Mexico Department of Health New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program needs to be held accountable for not following their own Rules & Regulations and needs to provide these suffering people in our medical cannabis community with immediate safe access to medicine.