News & Blog

November brings high hopes for cannabis legalization

November is shaping up to be a very exciting time for cannabis advocates. Hundreds of millions of Americans will be casting their vote for President November 8, while over 25 percent of the country will be voting on social and medical cannabis propositions.

The most exciting part? Legalization is leading in nearly every state where it is on the ballot. Even more exciting? If all states with legalization on the ballot approve, a quarter of the United States will be free from cannabis prohibition and 62 percent will live in states with medical programs.

Here’s where each state stands on legalization this upcoming election.


Continue reading "November brings high hopes for cannabis legalization"

New Mexico Medical Cannabis Sales Up 56 Percent, Patients Up 74 Percent

Producer revenues increase, while total sales significantly lag behind patient growth

(Albuquerque) – Of the 23 Licensed Non-Profit Producers (LNPPs) who were operating throughout fiscal year 2016, over two-thirds experienced double-digit revenue growth.  Four producers experienced negative growth, and three others were essentially flat during the period.

Total industry revenues from fiscal year 2015 to 2016 increased by $14.1 million, resulting in a $39 million total and a growth of 56 percent. Sales lagged behind patient growth, as patient numbers increased from 15,265 to 26,568, by 74 percent, for the same period.

“The industry is doing as much as it can to keep providing patients with the medicine they need,” said Duke Rodriguez, CEO and President of Ultra Health®. “But, it has become clear as sales significantly lag behind patient growth, there is not an adequate supply of medicine. Patients may be forced to go outside the licensed program and look to the black market for their needs.”

Continue reading "New Mexico Medical Cannabis Sales Up 56 Percent, Patients Up 74 Percent"

New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program Grows To 31,000 Patients

Senate passed bill to increase plant count, special session ended with no House vote

(Albuquerque) – Patients in New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program reached 30,877 at the end of the third calendar quarter, a 4,309 increase from June 30, 2016. This increase is twice the amount of patients that were added to the program in the same quarter in 2015. Additionally, the program has seen a 76 percent patient growth increase over the past year.

Bernalillo and Santa Fe remain the two largest counties by patient population with 11,396 and 4,070 enrolled patients, respectively. Every county, excluding Harding and Union counties, experienced a double-digit increase in patients in the third calendar quarter. Growth continues to accelerate particularly in the southern and southeastern parts of New Mexico including Dona Ana, Lea, Chaves, Grant and Eddy counties. Nearly 3,200 patients are living in rural counties without a full time dispensary.

“The gap between the growing number of patients and the amount of available medical grade cannabis is widening,” said Duke Rodriguez, CEO and President of Ultra Health®.

Continue reading "New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program Grows To 31,000 Patients"

New Mexico Legalized Cannabis a Half Billion Dollar Industry

Legalized cannabis industry in New Mexico to create new jobs, unprecedented annual revenues

(Albuquerque) – A recent economic report produced by Kelly O’Donnell, Ph.D., of O’Donnell Economics and Strategy found the legalized cannabis industry in New Mexico would total $412.5 million in annual revenues after the first year of implementation and $677.7 million by 2021.

The report, commissioned by Ultra Health® with support from the Drug Policy Alliance, Rio Grande Foundation and a consortium of industry advocates, also found that legalized cannabis would create more than 11,400 jobs – 6,600 in the direct cannabis industry and 4,780 in ancillary positions.

"Legalizing cannabis could have a profound effect on New Mexico’s economy and help fill New Mexico’s yawning budget gap,” Dr. O’Donnell said. “But to achieve the benefits of a robust cannabis market, state policymakers must insist on common sense regulation and sound tax policy.”

Continue reading "New Mexico Legalized Cannabis a Half Billion Dollar Industry"

Medical Cannabis Should Be New Mexico True Certified

Recently the New Mexico Tourism Department decided to launch its New Mexico True Certified program, highlighting products that are “uniquely New Mexican.” While this is a great program, it is limiting its success by denying access to one of the state’s most promising products.

It’s green. And no, it’s not chile.

The program requires all plant and nonmeat agricultural products to be 100 percent produced in the state with traceable documentation to where it was grown. Ultra Health products fit this requirement, as its high quality, medical grade cannabis and other products infused with medical cannabis are grown and produced at its cultivation center in Bernalillo.

Continue reading "Medical Cannabis Should Be New Mexico True Certified"

SALUD: New Mexico Needs to Adequately Fund Medicaid

New Mexico is experiencing vast budget shortages stemming from a historically limited private sector economy and lower than expected oil and gas revenues. Rarely, if ever have the state coffers been sufficient to fully fund the programmatic needs for improved education, a stronger justice system and expanded but needed healthcare. Of the three largest budget demands, only one is both a true economic and social positive multiplier to the improved well-­‐being of the state’s individual residents and the overall state wide economy: Medicaid. New Mexico is in an envious position of being able to obtain $3 in Federal match for each $1 the State provides. Likewise, every single dollar cut from the Medicaid program results in a combined $4 dollars less being released into our communities for hospitals, caregivers, medicines, healthcare workers, behavioral health services and those who often time care for our most vulnerable populations: single parents, children, working poor, chronically ill, the aged or disabled.

Continue reading "SALUD: New Mexico Needs to Adequately Fund Medicaid"

New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program Surpasses 30,000 Patients

The Medical Cannabis Program reaches all-time high patient numbers in August

(Taos) – The number of patients in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program reached 30,140 this month, including 975 pending applications, according to a document released by the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Monday at a legislative meeting in Taos.

NMDOH confirmed in a written statement that zero new patient applications or renewals have been denied during fiscal year 2016. There are currently 6,300 patients with Personal Production Licenses (PPLs), and zero PPL applications have been denied.

"We are pleased to confirm that we are above 30,000 patients and to acknowledge the reality that 100 percent of all applications are approved,” said Duke Rodriguez, CEO and President of Ultra Health ® , LLC. “It would be wise to immediately adopt a policy of presumptive eligibility thereby making certain there are no further delays in getting patients their rights to access medical cannabis.”

Continue reading "New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program Surpasses 30,000 Patients"

New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program Revenue Hits New Record

Despite high license fees, low plant count and delayed patient cards, may hit $48 million for year

(Albuquerque) – The Medical Cannabis Program’s total patient revenues for the first six months ended June 30, 2016 exceeded $21.8 million, representing a whopping 67 percent increase over the same period in 2015. The medical cannabis industry is on pace for a record setting year of $48.4 million.

Four providers, including Ultra Health®, had patient sales over $1 million in the second quarter alone, which is an industry first. The top 10 providers account for nearly three-­quarters of total medical cannabis six month revenues in New Mexico. Ultra Health® was the top gainer for the second quarter with revenues up by 58.2 percent.

Continue reading "New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program Revenue Hits New Record"

New Mexico Lawsuit Filed to Ensure Adequate Supply of Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis caregiver and licensed producer initiate legal battle for adequate supply

(Albuquerque) – Nicole Sena, a medical cannabis caregiver to her infant daughter with a rare form of epilepsy, and New Mexico Top Organics-Ultra Health Inc., filed a complaint against the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) on Tuesday on the basis that the Medical Cannabis Program’s 450 plant count is causing direct and immediate harm.

Due to the restrictive plant count, producers are unable to supply Sena with medicine her daughter desperately needs. The lawsuit addresses a long standing complaint by patients for the lack of available medicine. The parties believe court intervention is needed to ensure the NMDOH meets its statutory obligation.

Continue reading "New Mexico Lawsuit Filed to Ensure Adequate Supply of Medical Cannabis"

Cannabis Producers pay $2.76 Million by Deadline

While fees remain high, plant count restriction limits available medicine

(Albuquerque) – The 35 Licensed Non­Profit Producers (LNPPs) of New Mexico’s fully patient-­funded and self-­supporting Medical Cannabis Program paid $2.76 million in fees to the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Monday, according to a report released from the NMDOH.

The fees were for a total of 13,800 plants, which serve the state’s 26,568 medical cannabis patients as of June 30, 2016. The current ratio of plants per patient is one half of a plant per patient in New Mexico, while other states such as Colorado approve 6 plants per patient for medical cannabis producers, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue’s 2015 annual update. On average, 300,000 to 320,000 medical cannabis plants were cultivated each month in Colorado.

Continue reading "Cannabis Producers pay $2.76 Million by Deadline"