Medical marijuana business licensing can be a contentious issue. People perform a ton of research, pay hefty fees, and only after a ton of effort do they find out if they received a license or not. For those that get a license, it's worth it. But for those that don't, it sucks big time, and it can be the beginning of a long legal process. That was the case for a non-profit in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which recently had a judge declare that they are entitled to a license the next time they are issued. Per the Santa Fe Reporter:
A state District Court judge has ordered the New Mexico Department of Health to issue a medical cannabis producer's license to a Santa Fe nonprofit business once new licenses become available.
But Mark Springer, founder of Medical Marijuana Inc. might still face an uphill battle.
Springer originally applied to legally grow and dispense medical pot more than five years ago. While nearly 100 other license applications were rejected, Springer and three other nonprofit groups were informed by then-Health Secretary Catherine Torres that their applications had met the department's criteria and were approved, but that they would not be issued licenses because market capacity had been met by 23 other producers.
Over the next three years, while the Health Department approved new medical conditions and registered thousands of new patients, it opted not to issue new licenses. As the demand for cannabis increased, producer inventories dwindled, and patients often went weeks without fresh supplies. Producers reported selling out days after harvest.
Cases like this one highlight the need for a home cultivation provision in every medical marijuana program. I feel bad for the non-profit that was denied a license, but I feel even worse for the patients that have to go weeks without medicine. That's unfortunately a common theme in programs that don't allow home cultivation.