US (NM): Surveys illustrates MMJ supply shortage

State-commissioned surveys of New Mexico medical cannabis producers and patients show that many dispensaries are encountering difficulties in meeting demands for marijuana and related products.

The Department of Health commissioned the surveys as it considers changing its limits on medical marijuana cultivation and per-patient consumption.

In results obtained Tuesday, 55% of producers said they have been unable to keep pace with patient demand for marijuana and related products.

Patient enrollment is surging in New Mexico's medical marijuana program for health ailments such as cancer, chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder, with a 39% jump in participation between March 2018 and March 2019. Active patients now number more than 72,000.

Of the patients surveyed, about one in four said they were unable to purchase cannabis within the past 90 days because it was out of stock. Shortages were more pronounced in eastern New Mexico, with about four in 10 patients citing shortages.

The surveys of all 34 licensed producers and more than 600 patients also delved into business ambitions, product preferences among patients, and overall satisfaction with New Mexico's 12-year-old medical cannabis program.

Nearly all producers intend to expand in the future, while six in 10 patients say they purchase edibles — mainly chocolates, bars and gummy candies. The vast majority of patients were satisfied with the state program, while producers were more divided in their opinions.


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