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Judge Rules on Reciprocity

A New Mexico district judge has ordered the state to rescind a rule that added additional requirements for out-of-state cannabis patients to participate in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program.

In October the New Mexico Department of Health adopted an emergency rule that required out-of-state reciprocity patients to show proof that they were authorized to take part in the medical marijuana program of the jurisdiction where they live. The new rules were reportedly implemented without warning on Sept. 11.

Ultra Health sued the DOH earlier this month, alleging that the rule change was illegal. The new mandate would mean that a resident of Colorado who was enrolled in Arizona’s medical cannabis program would not be eligible to purchase marijuana in New Mexico. The rule would also require that a patient produce a card specifically, even though some states don’t issue physical cards.

In a writ Santa Fe District Court Judge Matthew Wilson wrote that neither the DOH nor the Legislature required proof that a patient belonged to a program in the jurisdiction that they reside in or a card. He also found that the rule is unenforceable because it was filed on Oct. 8—a day before the scheduled hearing on Oct. 9.

The DOH said it is complying with the ruling.