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The Latest: Survey indicates shortage of medical marijuana

May 14, 2019
FILE - In this Thursday, April 4, 2019 photo a cannabis worker displays fresh cannabis flower buds that have been trimmed for market in Gardena, Calif. When California voters broadly legalized marijuana, they were promised that a vast computer platform would closely monitor products moving through the new market. Sixteen months after the start of broad legal sales, just a few hundred operators are entering data into the track-and-trace system. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel,File)
FILE - In this Thursday, April 4, 2019 photo a cannabis worker displays fresh cannabis flower buds that have been trimmed for market in Gardena, Calif. When California voters broadly legalized marijuana, they were promised that a vast computer platform would closely monitor products moving through the new market. Sixteen months after the start of broad legal sales, just a few hundred operators are entering data into the track-and-trace system. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel,File)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on trends in New Mexico’s medical marijuana program (all times local):

1 p.m.

A survey of licensed medical marijuana producers in New Mexico indicates that a majority cannot meet customer demand.

The survey was commissioned by the Department of Health and obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday. It found that 55% of producers say they are unable to keep pace with patient demand for marijuana and related products.

Nearly all of the state’s 34 medical cannabis producers say they have plans to expand operations. The number of patients enrolled in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program increased by 39 percent during the year ending in March. Active patients now number over 72,000.

Regulators surveyed producers as the state reconsiders limits on how many plants each provider may grow at once and other provisions for ensuring adequate supplies to patients.

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1 a.m.

Patient enrollment in New Mexico’s medical marijuana program grew at a fast clip in April.

The New Mexico Department of Health says patient enrollment in the cannabis program for health ailments such as cancer, chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder increased by 1,632 to 72,375 in April. That’s the equivalent of a 28% annual growth rate.

New Mexico’s largest medical marijuana seller said Monday that statewide growth in medical cannabis sales trailed far behind enrollment gains between March 2018 and March 2019.

Bernalillo-based Ultra Health says annual medical marijuana sales grew by 16%. That’s less than half the 39% growth rate for enrollment.

State limits on medical marijuana production are currently under review. Ultra Health wants the state to increase purchase limits for patients and allow discounts by volume.

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