Paul Sableman

New Mexico’s MMJ Program Marred by Application Processing Delays

Medical cannabis patients and providers in New Mexico are frustrated by the delay of medical card processing in the state, with wait times as long as 60 days, according to a KRQE report.

“This is frustrating cause we try to provide… quality service and a lot of the time the patients don’t understand that it’s not our facility that does the processing of the cards,” Patrick Gifford, of Zia Health and Wellness, said in the report.

Gifford added that the dispensary gets at least 20 to 30 calls per day by patients hoping for answers. The dispensary can only give them the number to the Department of Health, who tell them they have to keep waiting.

Health Department officials say they are working on adding more staff members to help with the backlog of applications and are recommending that people submit their applications 60 days before their current cannabis card expires in order to avoid enrollment gaps. The Department is also encouraging people to double check their applications to make sure there are no reasons to delay processing.

Within the last year, the Health Department has received 10,000 applications for the program. They say incomplete applications also cause delays for the processing of all other applications they receive. They have not given a firm time table for when the problem would be under control.  

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