Cannabis certifier in New Mexico

Anita Briscoe
July 11 at 8:20pm
Hello, I am a provider/prescriber! I have just set up a practice at CG Corrigan on Gulton Ct, and would like to attend your meetings, and present for you. Anita Briscoe, MS, APRN-BC

The state shouldn’t be able to keep secrets about who’s been awarded licenses from the state to grow and sell cannabis, argues a lawsuit filed this week in district court.

Independent journalist Peter St. Cyr and the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government say the New Mexico Department of Health has violated the state Inspection of Public Records Act by repeatedly refusing to identify license holders or applicants for the licenses.

“Plaintiffs believe that secreting the identities of medical-marijuana producers distorts the market for the medicine, deprives New Mexicans of important information about their neighborhoods, and has the potential to promote cronyism and corruption in the awarding of valuable state licenses,” reads a complaint filed by attorney Kip Purcell in Second Judicial District Court in Albuquerque on Thursday.

The Department of Health adopted an administrative rule keeping information about producers confidential, but Purcell argues that’s not permissible under state law…

Further, he says, patients in the program “want to know if the folks who want to make a living selling pot actually have horticultural experience or if they’re just out to make money,” he says.

Plus, journalists want access to the information to evaluate the fairness of the application and selection process for growers.

“We want to see if the licenses are being awarded to political donors or cronies or to well-qualified growers,” he says. “We’re also interested in seeing if the licenses are distributed in a diverse manner. For decades, we’ve been locking up African Americans for selling cannabis, but now that we’ve made it legal for medicinal purposes, we want to see if all the licenses were awarded to white men.”

Other states have made their medical marijuana licensing process more transparent. Massachusetts, for instance, requires its producers to agree to be publicly identified.

“How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?”

This song (Dear Mr. President by Pink) is dedicated to the members of the New Mexico Medical Cannabis program — patients, patient associations, producers and dispensaries, doctors, and the Department of Health.  And to the New Mexico State Medical Board and every politician in this state.

While all of you enjoy your holiday weekend, take a moment to think about those who can’t afford this program and have to suffer, and suffer, and suffer, without any pain relief.

“How do you walk with your head held high?  Can you even look me in the eye?”

Do NM Cannabis Producers Support Mandatory Testing for Medical Cannabis?

Wow, to get actual responses from producers… that’s amazing.  I wonder who I have to sleep with to deserve the same kind of treatment?

Under comments:

March 18, 2015

I think it is wrong to assume that because we did not respond to your generic solicitation that we are against testing. Many producers understand the importance of testing and look to our state regulators to create an environment where testing will be available, affordable and mandatory. That environment does not exist now and we have been advised by the DOH and MCP not to test our products with unapproved laboratories. Perhaps a better use of your time may be to put political pressure on the DOH and MCP to test through the state labs. We, as producers, could subsidize the cost and patients would reap the benefits. I founded your organization – the NM Medical Cannabis Patients Alliance and funded it’s inception in order to create a political arm for the patients to express their wants and needs to the government – not so that you could waste your time polling the producers as to how we feel – how we feel is unimportant – how we are regulated is what matters.

William Ford, Executive Director
R. Greenleaf Organics, Inc
Medzen Services, Inc.
Healthy Education Society

Since SWOP mentioned in their response that they use the state lab at NMSU, I don’t understand why the Department of Health has to mandate this option for R. Greenleaf to take advantage of it.  Mr. Ford, are you trying to distract us from the issue at hand?

On the other hand, there’s the NMMCPA — a so-called patient’s alliance — that is pushing for testing, which will undoubtedly raise the price of the medicine, especially with the smaller producers.  You see, the members of SWOP, a small producer, are part of the NMMCPA…

And SWOP believes in 100% testing — whatever that means — and their prices reflect that extra expense.  SWOP has some of the highest prices in the state, if not the highest.  And if you’re a patient who can afford to pay those prices, I guess that’s great.

As for the tone of Mr. Ford’s response, well, perhaps he’s having a bad day.  Any producer who believes that exercises like this are a waste of time must have something to hide.  (Hence, the distraction.)  Aren’t the concerns and questions of patients important, Mr. Ford?  (Don’t worry, I don’t expect a response.)

I guess transparency isn’t important to the big players in this state’s medical cannabis industry — that’s why there’s no push to publish producer’s accounting records.  I mean, wouldn’t you like to know why your medicine costs so much?

The little information provided by the DOH every quarter doesn’t tell patients much, so perhaps it’s time for the NMMCPA to push for publicizing the accounting records from dispensaries.  Let patients really see what’s going on.  Maybe secrecy was important when this program started, but really, what’s the point of it now?

And for a patient’s organization, the NMMCPA certainly has made a mess of things.  Their members are in the middle of this new lawsuit against the DOH, by 19 of the 23 producers.  It will be interesting to see which producers didn’t join in the lawsuit and their reasons for not doing so. Unfortunately, the media coverage for this state’s program is almost nonexistent.  Which is why patients have to do so much research and make extreme efforts to navigate this expensive, exclusive, and secretive program.

It’s been almost a year since I was unable to renew because of the expense (and stress), and it’s taken all that time for the DOH to finalize the new regulations.  Now comes this lawsuit… just one of many that have been filed against the DOH regarding the Medical Cannabis Program.

I’m not sure how a lawsuit will change the fact that Retta Ward from the DOH gets the final say on everything to do with this program. The work that the Medical Board performs for the program doesn’t appear to affect the decisions Ms. Ward has made, and neither does all the negative responses from patients to the rule changes.

The whole business, the public hearings and comments, the set-up and procedures, the secrecy and lack of transparency, the cost — it all adds up to a program that doesn’t work for a lot of really sick people.  How many patients have died waiting for the ability to join the Medical Cannabis Program?  Do you know how expensive it is to obtain the records needed to qualify under “severe chronic pain”?  Do you know how many patients don’t qualify because they suffer from a mental disability?

The answer is to stop fighting over this program — the answer is to legalize.  Or alternatively, keep calm and move to Colorado.

New Medical Marijuana Rules Adopted

The average price for a gram of pot is $10…

Liar, liar, pants on fire…  That’s not the average price here in New Mexico — but sure, if you wanna dream, I can’t stop you.

Optimistic about his [David Romero White’s] chances to be licensed this time, he says, “This is definitely a huge step in the right direction. We all can now breathe a collective sigh of relief and move forward,” he says…

You breathe a sigh of relief Mr. White, while I sit here IN PAIN, unable to afford the renewal costs.

And if you rent your living space, you’ll need to get your landlord’s approval…

In most cases, that’s just not going to happen.  And I think the Department of Health knows that. This agency is working very hard to get smoking restricted in more places than it already is, including apartments.  And since most medical cannabis patients smoke their bud, the DOH is actually working against this program.

In conclusion, the new rules benefit producers, not patients.  But then, I’m not surprised.

Well, Mr. White (and his cohorts in the NMMCPA) must be pretty happy about this news.  Good for them.

11/18/2014, Leading TX marijuana legislator, 2015 session best chance yet for medical cannabis

In the 2013 session, Naishtat filed the bill, as he had five times before. In the last session, though, it received a hearing in the House Public Health Committee for the first time. Though it did not get a vote, Naishtat said the hearing was “important incremental change,” and that its chances of passage in the upcoming session, which begins January 5, are greater.

The hearing featured powerful testimony, Naishtat said, including that of Vincent Lopez. Lopez is a muscular dystrophy patient and user of medicinal marijuana. In 2013, he founded the Patient Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics (PACT), an organization that allows patients a safe place to share their stories and helps patients advocate. Lopez spoke Wednesday about coming out of the “cannabis closet.”

“In stepping out of the cannabis closet, I had always been familiar with the feelings of fear and intimidation, but nothing compared to the weight I was carrying by not coming out, by not saying anything, by living life in secret,” he said. “No longer could I live in silence knowing I had an answer in cannabis for the painful muscle spasms, the stiffness and contortion I endure, the loss of appetite and sleep.”

Leslie Grady McAhren, executive director and director of research at CG Corrigan Inc., a nonprofit licensed medical cannabis provider based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, said studies show a 28.4 percent decrease in opiate deaths in states with medical marijuana, like New Mexico…

Other patient advocates at the event included AmyLou Fawell, president of Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism, and Terri Davis Carriker, founder of Embrace Moms, a support group for Christian mothers whose children suffer from medical conditions and disabilities.

Reviews for C.G. Corrigan

My review, as posted on on 1/22/2014:

I have a history with Corrigan, documented with emails and receipts, and littered with frustration. But, considering we’re talking about the New Mexico medical cannabis program, frustration and expensive lessons are just par for the course.

My history with this dispensary includes the purchase of a few excellent strains, including Grand Platinum, OG 18, and G-13. Unfortunately, the strains were not consistent, and I only experienced the top-shelf quality in a handful of cases. Although I didn’t record as much information through my time with Corrigan, I was able to analyze the value of this medicine and these services, and the result was that I stopped ordering from them. Corrigan has the highest prices of all the dispensaries, as far as I can tell, and most of the time, it just wasn’t worth the price.

For awhile, I was receiving interesting and well-written newsletters from Corrigan, but after I stopped purchasing from them, the emails stopped also.

I recently received an email from Corrigan with a new menu, including the Grand Platinum and OG 18 strains. Unfortunately, I was informed that there was a quarter-ounce minimum, and that no testing would be performed on these batches. But they did offer a money-back guarantee. Corrigan also indicated that they had been inactive for awhile, but were now able to begin deliveries again, and were looking to open a store-front dispensary.

Considering that I had just been informed that the strain I had been using from another dispensary was not going to be available for a couple of weeks, and the Island Sweet Skunk from High Desert was going to be unavailable for months, yes, you guessed it, I put in my order for a quarter ounce of the Grand Platinum, for a total of $100 (plus tax, of course). The batch number was listed as 4087. For your information, Corrigan only accepts money orders for pick-ups.

There were eight small buds, packaged in a (recyclable) glass jar (one of the things I like about Corrigan’s medicine). It had a very weak kush smell, with medium-to-heavy resin, no seeds, and few sticks. The Grand Platinum strain I had previously purchased had a smell like no other I have had before, or since, and this new batch was nothing like it. But it had a clean, fresh smell, nonetheless. I rolled a total of six joints from the quarter ounce, for a cost of $16.66 per joint.

This would be a good time to point out that, until you price it out per joint, the initial purchase price is relative.

If I had to guess, I would say that this strain had around a 17% to 18% THC level. I rate it at a 4.5 out of 10. On my ever-narrowing list of strains that I would purchase again, I don’t think I would choose this one.

If you choose to order from Corrigan, at this time they are requesting pre-orders a week in advance. They also mentioned problems with their email system.


11/19/13, Robin S, nmcannabisreview: I too must concur with this review. I have been a patient since 2009 and have tried about 7 different producers. CG Corrigan has been my worst experience for all four chances I gave them. I find there staff to be offensive and try to lead you to believe they are able to diagnose and cure you. Yet none of them have any medical expertise. They are over priced for the quality of their products. The last time I purchased from them it was moldy and they questioned it and told me it wasn’t possible. They appear to be about getting rich quick and zero else. It is difficult to even buy from them. Nothing but hassles. There are far more producers out there that will please you more than CG Corrigan!

Jan-12-2012,, by shadowyazn: Allright…so I understand some people may take this as a rant…but here goes. Some of you may remember a while back I posted some reviews about the medicine from CG Corrigan…great medicine, well stored, covered in trichomes. However, there was an issue regarding seeds in their Afghan. In a half ounce, I found roughly 25 seeds. When I brought up the issue to CG Corrigan, they were very considerate and offered an exchange or some free medicine on my next purchase. I chose to receive some free medicine for a future purchase, since as I’ve mentioned before I do not like to return things. I picked up earlier this morning from them again as per my subscription requirements for this month. I returned the seeds to them also this morning and as mentioned, they provided me with 4.5 grams of delicious Pineapple Kush. However, when I got home I started inspecting my current ounce. The half ounce of Northern Lights is amazing! Huge buds with beautiful red hairs and trichome development. Very solid and dense, breaks up nice with a pungent aroma. The half ounce of Sour Diesel is also very nice. Smaller size nugs, slightly fluffy but with relatively nice trichome development. HOWEVER..I’ve found 59 seeds!!! I’ve contacted CG and they’ve agreed to give me a quarter next time when I pick up again, which I believe is awesome on their part. Their customer service over there is top par. The reason I’m writing this is just to inform people out there…be CAREFUL when selecting medicine from CG. In my experience, they have issues with controlling pollination for some reason. They informed me that a hermi branch pollinated a nearby cart which lead to the seeds, so keep that in mind fellow patients.

Has anybody else had an issue with seeds from ANY of the producers? I’d be interested to hear stories if anybody’s willing to share. As of yet, out of the other 8 or 9 producers I’ve tried, I’ve only found 1 seed so far.