Four more New Mexico cannabis businesses and a patient licensed to grow their own have filed legal complaints in state district court asking a judge to throw out the industry rules adopted by the state Department of Health earlier this month, according to New Mexico Political Report. The two producers, manufacturer, and testing laboratory join Ultra Health in the bid to have the new testing, labeling, and safety rules annulled.
Like Ultra Health’s petition, the businesses and patient are calling the rules “arbitrary and capricious.”
Former Public Regulation Commission Jason Marks is representing Scepter Labs – one of just two cannabis testing labs in the state – and medical cannabis manufacturer Vitality Extracts in their case. The plaintiffs argue that the testing language included in the reforms used rules from other states and that out of more than 15,000 tests conducted in New Mexico since the rule was implemented, none of the medical cannabis tested was positive for mycotoxins. Marks argues that the relatively small number of positives for mycotoxins in cannabis are from “climates more likely to lead to mycotoxin production than New Mexico’s.”
Marks also argues that the new rules increasing the sample size required for testing wind up “wasting medicine and increasing costs” for patients and that sample sizes should be left up to labs doing the testing.
Jacob Candelaria, a Democratic state senator representing G&G Genetics who joined the initial petition with Ultra Health, argued in the new filing that the Health Department “did not adequately or sufficiently evaluate the effect that its new testing regime will have on the price of medical cannabis to qualified patients.”
Heath Grider, who is represented by former Libertarian attorney general candidate Blair Dunn and Jared Vander Dussen, contends that the new rule prohibiting cannabis and hemp from being grown at the same facility prevents him from making money from hemp and growing his own medical cannabis. Grider is a patient licensed to grow his own but also grows and sells industrial hemp to supplement his income.
“Depriving patients of the benefits of a personal production license unless they forego their statutory right to engage in hemp production pursuant to a permit from the Department of Agriculture is not just arbitrary and capricious; it is completely unmoored from logic and fairness.” – Dunn and Vander Dussen in the petition via the Political Report
The petitioners also argue that the Health Department has no jurisdiction over hemp cultivation and, therefore, the rule is invalid.
Medical cannabis producer Pecos Valley Production is also named as a plaintiff in the initial suit filed against the Health Department last week. Ultra and Pecos gave the DOH 30 days to respond to the filing. The agency has neither commented on the suit nor filed a response in court.
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