New Mexico dispensary news

Michael Romero said:  You should keep your eyes on ultrahealth-toporganics, seems like they’re not getting tested. I have also bought moldy meds from Natural rx and Grassroots rx. How is this possible with mandates in place?
December 4 at 9:00am

“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.

Voices of MMJ patients in New Mexico

Unfortunately, the patient doesn’t say where she bought the crumbly product, but if I had to guess, it would be GrassRoots RX.  (Or maybe Minerva.)

No patient is happy with bad bud, and I am no exception. But even further than that, I am embarrassed that I made such a poor choice, even after being in the program for a year. (And if I were that producer, I would be embarrassed to call that marijuana OR medicine.)

The Blue Dream Smells like diesel to me, with hardly any resin (if at all), no seeds and a few sticks. I didn’t need scissors to clean up the bud — it crumbled easily within my hands. It resembles more of a powdery form than I am used to, and it didn’t appear very fresh to me…

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.

My reviews of GrassRoots Rx

(As posted on

March 6, 2014:

I registered with GrassRoots Rx in September of 2013, but since I could find very little information on this producer and their products, it has always moved further down my list of dispensaries to check out. After reviewing their weekly email newsletters, my impression is that GrassRoots usually has menu offerings in all three categories: indicas, sativas, and blends. They also carry Mkage, a high-CBD strain, and extracts and topicals.

Noteworthy information from their newsletters includes a mention of free seeds to PPLs (which I thought was cool). Also of note is that in December of 2013, the newsletter indicated that, “we do not have long distance telephone service in our area,” along with a mention in January 2014 that GrassRoots is looking to open a storefront location in the Albuquerque area.

In researching GrassRoots, I noticed that there is rarely a mention of them on the more mainstream cannabis websites. There are two articles (2012 and 2013) about the owner here:

I have only communicated with this producer through Alicia, via email. In response to my questions, here is some of the information she provided:

“Since we do not attempt to be the ‘biggest’ in the state, we have only once completely run out of product and rarely restrict the amounts purchased (except as required by the NM DOH). We do not have a limit on the number of patients [accepted by our dispensary] and are usually able to serve our patient base.”

Further, Alicia indicated that there are usually no quantity limits per strain.

“We harvest on a weekly basis and the strains we have available does vary, but we generally have product available. We almost always have our exclusive Bubba Berry on hand, which is one of our strongest indicas.”

When I asked about posting THC/CBD levels on their website, Alicia told me that this information will soon be added for edibles, but it will be awhile before they are added for bud. Additionally, she said that, “Once we convert to testing all our offerings, we will be forced to increase our prices due to the added expense.”

Alicia said, “Some of our products have been tested by other producers and they have always tested in the 18-22% range. We have always had the reputation of having some of the strongest levels of THC in the state.”

When I asked about THC percentages for sativas, Alicia said she was not aware of any testing that had been performed specifically for sativas from GrassRoots.

As for the sativas I asked about, she said, “Both of these strains [Pineapple Skunk and Lemon Skunk] are commercial Sativas. We have Pineapple Skunk 3-4 times a year and try to keep Lemon Skunk on hand – but we do run out of the Lemon Skunk on occasion due to high demand.”

I told Alicia what I was looking for, and asked her to choose an indica for me. She chose Bubba Berry, their “most popular indica.” I ordered on a Wednesday, GrassRoots responded within 24 hours, and it was delivered by a nice young lady by Friday afternoon.

No batch number
THC estimated by GRRX: 18% – 22% (did not see test results)

The Bubba Berry had the usual amount of sticks/stems, no seeds or resin, and was crumbly but still held some moisture. It’s got a very light diesel smell, but is not as fragrant as strains from High Desert or R. Greenleaf. Smooth and light, with less odor when smoking, but a little difficult to keep lit. Strength rating: 3.75 (4, minus .25 for lack of terpene strength)

Since the Bubba Berry is not strong enough for intractable pain, I don’t think I have any interest in GrassRoots’ line of indicas, but their blends and sativas may hold some possibilities. Considering this is the cheapest price I’ve paid since becoming a medical cannabis patient in New Mexico, I will definitely try GrassRoots again. And I am really looking forward to the possibility of being able to view (and smell) future purchases at a store-front dispensary.

April 2014:

I believe that growing marijuana strong enough to treat intractable pain is an art form. I believe that every grower, no matter how experienced, can have a bad crop (for whatever reason). I also believe in second chances — and third and fourth chances, too. For all these reasons (and a few others), I tried GrassRoots again.

Super Lemon Haze
Batch: 2D-022714
Not tested
$8/gr (seeded)

I was under the impression that “seeded” meant that the bud had seeds and was of lesser quality than a dispensary’s top shelf strains. I have now learned that it just means plain shake, something I have not knowingly purchased in awhile. You can see what it looks like, and the smell is not much better. I took pictures, but I haven’t tried to smoke it. If it is better than the Lemon Skunk reviewed below (although I don’t see how that’s possible), I will update this review.

Lemon Skunk
Batch: 2D-022714
Not tested

The Lemon Skunk had a strong lemony smell; more like Lemon Pledge than marijuana. One of the buds had an untrimmed stem that was over 2″ long. With no seeds or resin, it was the kind of bud that crumbles with the slightest amount of pressure, but still contains some moisture. It reminded me of the bud I purchased from Minerva.

I really tried to achieve an effect from the Lemon Skunk. After attempting to hold the medicine in my lungs for longer than usual, I think there may have been times when my face turned quite blue with the effort. Yet my efforts were in vain. After I smoked one joint and felt absolutely nothing, I put the remainder in my “Only When I’m Desperate” drawer.

No patient is happy with bad bud, and I am no exception. But even further than that, I am embarrassed that I made such a poor choice, even after being in the program for a year. (And if I were that producer, I would be embarrassed to call that marijuana OR medicine.)