New Mexico lawmakers have voted to reinstate a residency requirement for patients authorized to participate in the state’s medical marijuana program. Under a bill passed in the New Mexico House of Representatives on Monday, allowing non-residents to apply for medical marijuana identification cards would be phased out later this year. The measure, SB 139, was approved in the state Senate on Saturday and has the support of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
The bill was sponsored in the Senate by Democrat Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino. Under a different measure that was passed and signed into law last year, the words “resident of New Mexico” were removed from the definition of a qualified medical marijuana patient and replaced with the word “person.” Under that change, more than 600 people from Texas, Arizona, and other states have qualified as patients.
But Ortiz y Pino says that the change in definition was unintentional and that the state should again restrict issuing medical marijuana cards to New Mexico residents. Patients with cards from other states would also be able to purchase marijuana at licensed dispensaries under a reciprocity program. Ortiz y Pino is concerned that allowing residents of other states to qualify as