Looking out over the suburbs of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Paul Sableman

Santa Fe, New Mexico Judge Allows Dispensary to Stay Open Through 4/20 Despite DOH Action

A Santa Fe, New Mexico judge has overruled a New Mexico Department of Health sanction against a medical cannabis dispensary after the department ordered the shop to close because it displayed a cannabis plant at the state fair in violation of rules requiring cannabis to “be housed on secured grounds,” the Albuquerque Journal reports.

First Judicial District Court Judge David Thompson ruled that the Health Department’s decision to impose a five-day suspension on Ultra Health over the display of “Dorothy” was “excessive and without much support in law or regulation”; although he said the company’s decision to display the seedling was “at the very best misguided.”

“The seedling should be treated as medicine and not an item for show and tell,” Thompson wrote in his order.

Duke Rodriguez, CEO of Ultra Health, said the Health Department order would have forced his shop to close from April 17-21 which coincides with “four-twenty” and would have cost him $200,000 in lost revenues.

“We’re very happy that the judge ordered this stay,” Rodriguez said in the report. “Those are literally the five busiest days of the year.”

Department of Health spokesman Paul Rhien indicated that the stay is only temporary until a full hearing is scheduled, and called the suspension “appropriate action for discipline based on the rules governing the program.”

Ultra Health was also fined $100. The full hearing has not yet been scheduled.

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