A medical marijuana shortage in New Mexico — which, for the second year in a row, is seeing its state-licensed dispensary system struggling to supply patients with cannabis — means those who use it might not be able to get the relief they need, reports KOAT-TV in Albuquerque.
According to a man who runs Peace Medical Marijuana Consultants, a nonprofit group counseling medical marijuana patients, there are around five dispensaries in New Mexico, with almost 2,000 patients.
The dispensaries can’t keep up with patient demand, according to the counselor.
“They say they can handle up to 100 people, when in actuality one dispensary can only handle about 40 people,” he said. “Actually 35 max, let’s be honest.”
And of course, when medical marijuana patients can’t get what they need from a state-licensed dispensary, they’ll likely buy their cannabis on the black market.
“People get it off the streets, and that’s unsafe,” said the counselor.
New Mexico’s medical marijuana program, which started in 2007, is underfunded and understaffed, according to some observers, leaving potential patients hanging.
Patient advocates said New Mexico needs more funding, especially as more ailments and patients qualify for doctor-authorized medical marijuana.
When KOAT tried to contact New Mexico’s medical marijuana program to talk about the reported shortage, the calls were not returned, the TV station said.