State regulators are temporarily doubling the number of plants that cannabis producers are allowed to grow to combat potential shortages.

According to a press release from the New Mexico Cannabis Control Division (CCD), licensed producers’ plant-count limit has been doubled effective immediately without any further action by licensees. This temporary measure does not apply to microproducers.

“Licensed producers don’t need to do anything except put more plants in the ground and enter them into BioTrack, our seed-to-sale tracking software,” said CCD Director Kristen Thomson. “Not every producer is going to want to grow more plants. But for those who do want to increase their plant counts, they can start doing that today.”

A number of producers and consumers have voiced concerns that the timeline set by the state to begin retail adult-use cannabis sales is too short, and that there isn’t enough time for producers to grow and manufacture enough cannabis products to meet consumer demand when doors open on April 1.

“We have been listening to producers, consumers and patients who are as committed as the Cannabis Control Division is to supporting a thriving cannabis-industry in New Mexico,” said Thomson. “Doubling the plant count for licensed producers makes sense to ensure that everyone can maximize the benefits of a thriving cannabis industry.”

The decision to exclude microproducers from the plant limit increase has led to questions about whether it runs contrary to the spirit of the state’s Cannabis Regulation Act. The decision could give larger producers an artificial advantage over smaller businesses.

“Equity and fairness are foundational principles of New Mexico’s vision for the state’s cannabis industry,” Thomson said. “We will work with legislators and the governor to ensure those values are upheld and that microproducers see increased plant count limits as soon as possible.”

SAFE Banking Sponsor Not Giving Up

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) has vowed to see the SAFE Banking bill passed before he retires at the end of this session.

“I have not given up on that one,” Perlmutter said during an interview with Colorado Public Radio. “I’m gonna get that darn thing passed this year while I still serve out my term.”

The SAFE Banking bill would protect banks and financial institutions who wish to do business with cannabis companies from being prosecuted federally. If passed, it would be easier for cannabis companies to do business electronically and would potentially curb crime related to legal cannabis markets.

Feds Prepare for Psychedelic Reforms

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Director Nora Volkow signaled a sea change in federal attitudes toward psychedelics.

During a National Institutes of Health (NIH) psychedelics workshop, the federal drug official said the discussion around psychedelics is becoming harder to follow and that she sees “an incredible opportunity to also modify the way that we are doing things.”

She suggested streamlining the process for researching Schedule I drugs.