Explosion Burns Two Santa Fe Pot Dispensary Employees

http://www.sfreporter.com/santafe/article-10696-explosion-burns-two-santa-fe-pot-dispensary-employees.html

Two parallel law enforcement investigations are under way this afternoon following Thursday’s fiery gas explosion that injured two employees at NewMexiCann Natural Medicine’s cannabis dispensary in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe Police tell SFR they are vigorously working to determine the cause of the explosion that left Nicholas Montoya and Aaron Smith, both in their 20s, with serious third degree burns. At noon, both men remain hospitalized after being airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital’s Level 1 Trauma Center last night. Montoya was listed in critical condition. Smith is listed in serious condition.

Police spokeswoman Lt. Andrea Dobyns tells SFR that investigators believe that butane gas was involved in the dangerous explosion, but it is still unclear what ignited the gas…

A dispensary worker who says he can’t comment turned away a line of cars at NewMexiCann’s closed facility on Friday afternoon, and patients reported that the nearby New Mexico Top Organics dispensary was crowded and running out of some supplies…

After 30 gas-related explosions in Colorado, regulators there imposed strict new extraction rules July 1. While licensed producers are allowed to safely manufacture the products via gas extraction, amateur patients who attempt to use hazardous gases in private homes could face felony charges.

Jason Marks, an attorney who represents multiple cannabis producers, says that rules governing New Mexico’s medical cannabis program don’t prohibit the gas extraction.

During a recent review of the program’s rules, Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward decided not to impose any new gas extraction restrictions. Ward’s spokesman, Kenny Vigil tells SFR he is not aware of any similar accidents at any other locations.

UPDATED: Sean R Waite, the special agent in charge of the DEA in New Mexico tells SFR the agency’s investigation is ongoing in cooperation with the US Attorney’s Office but the agency won’t comment about whether the evidence it seized includes medical cannabis products sold in the dispensary to qualified patients. While the federal government lists marijuana as an illegal controlled substance, the US Attorney General has previously told the DEA to stand down on medical cannabis producers as long as they follow state rules. 

Consolidating and cashing in on medical marijuana

http://nmpoliticalreport.com/3522/consolidating-and-cashing-in-on-medical-marijuana/

Marijuana legalization is likely far off in New Mexico, but you wouldn’t know it from the way some businesses are acting…

Colorado, here I come.

Consolidation isn’t limited to out-of-state companies looking for a stake in New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program. Reynold Greenleaf & Associates, an Albuquerque-based business formed last year, currently manages both Medzen Services and R. Greenleaf Organics…

When McCurdy became a patient, he had what he called a rough experience with marijuana from Compassionate Distributors in Ruidoso, the only medical marijuana producer in the area. He soon wrote a formal complaint about the quality of Compassionate Distributors’ marijuana.

“When it began to burn the cannabis started to pop, crackle and tasted harsh and like chemicals,” McCurdy wrote. “I knew then that the medicine was not flushed properly.”

Despite the fact that McCurdy’s letter wasn’t completely critical—he also wrote praises of one of the nonprofit’s clerks for being “always so friendly and just a pleasure to purchase from”—Compassionate Distributors stopped letting him buy marijuana.

“We will be removing you from our list of patients,” Mandy Denson, an attorney for Compassionate Distributors, wrote back to McCurdy. “While we appreciate the feedback, we run a very small operation. When it becomes clear that a patient relationship will only cause stress and negativity for those who work here, especially when unfounded, we exercise our right to refuse service policy.” …

Likewise, Shortes said that the deal will allow Sacred Garden to lower prices for patients…

And we’ll be watching to see if that happens.

As a part of the deal, Nutritional High will create a company called Zephyr to take over management of Sacred Garden. Shortes, according to an official announcement released last month, will be employed by Zephyr and make $180,000 a year…

Under comments:

Christopher Hsu · University of New Mexico
Just an FYI Tim Scott is pretty much in Willie Fords back pocket.

My review on Sacred Garden:  http://forum.nmcannabisreview.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8

My post on Mandy Denson:

http://forum.nmcannabisreview.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=181&p=1702&hilit=mandy+denson#p1702

“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?”

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/how-do-you-sleep-while-the-rest-of-us-cry/

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?

http://cannagramma.com/2015/03/10/do-nm-cannabis-producers-support-mandatory-testing-for-medical-cannabis/

Under comments:

March 18, 2015
WILLIAM FORD said:

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

http://www.sfreporter.com/santafe/article-9982-new-medical-marijuana-rules-adopted.html?utm_content=buffer78f8c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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.

NM Top Organics

(My review as posted around April 2014 on nmcannabis.com.)

I registered with New Mexico Top Organics last week, first through their website and then via email with “J,” in which she told me the following:

“There is delivery in ABQ every Thursday for a $10 charge. The driver works for R. Greenleaf, but delivers for many of the other Producers as well. Since we will need to get your medicine to ABQ we would ask that you place your order the Monday of the week you’d like delivery. In addition, we would ask that you mail us a money order after placing the order as we are not set up for debit/credit at this time.”

There is not much on their website, but my initial perception is that this dispensary is mostly about extracts. However, last week, I noticed a mention of a Blackberry Kush strain:

“Signature Line (Hydro Organic) — Blackberry Kush (Indica Dominant) $14/gram including tax: Tends to have a hashy, jet fuel smell and taste that is balanced by sweet berries. This strain is often recommended for the treatment of pain thanks to its strong indica body effects.”

J informed me that they “have not had the Blackberry Kush tested, but I would guess it might be high teens or low twenties. Some patients have mentioned that they felt it was rather strong and many have reported good pain relief.”

But the day I traveled to Santa Fe to visit this dispensary, their website no longer listed the Blackberry strain. Since I am now on their list for newsletters, I will keep an eye out for this strain in the future.

As Smokin Cannabis described last year, their offices are sparse and nondescript. The woman who helped me introduced herself as “J” and, as I was the only customer there at the time, a gentleman also joined in the conversation. They only had one strain available, a 2 gram bag for $22 of Blue Dream. (Was it Blue Dream? Now I’m not sure…) I took a whiff and it smelled okay, not grassy; but maybe more on the chocolate side of terpenes.

We talked briefly about hydro, which appears to be their more popular line of strains. They are obviously one of the smaller producers, but J did tell me that they would be willing to give me a free sample of their next batch of hydro, which was really nice. Since I don’t know when I will make another trip to Santa Fe, these kinds of services are really beneficial.

2012 Strains

Postby Painkills2 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:22 am

Tests by Page Analytical on November 5, 2012 for:
(Listed at actual weight)

TOP ORGANICS/CRUNCHBERRY/CB-1211
18.61% THC
0.32% CBD
0.00% CBN
10.25% moisture

TOP ORGANICS/BANANA KUSH/BK-1211
19.15% THC
0.53% CBD
0.00% CBN
9.4% moisture

TOP ORGANICS/ORACLE/ORACLE-1211
21.58% THC
0.56% CBD
0.00% CBN
7.61% moisture

All passed microbiology tests.

__________

Posted on 5/8/2013 by Smokin Cannabis: Hello, so I visited New Mexico Top Organics Dispensary for the first time. I guess they just don’t make it easy to find these places. There were 2 people there, four desks, a small room in the back and not much else, at least nothing else that caught my attention. They had I think 4 strains available, had them listed on a small chalk board on the wall. They have a 2 gram minimum. We talked some about grow technique they grow DWC Hydroponic. They were in a hurry to leave and close 20 minutes early.

So lets go over our criteria: Customer Service: 6 points Awarded; They were both dressed very casual and both in a hurry to leave 20 minutes early. They were very nice about it though.
Accessibility: 5 points Awarded; The store was hard to find. Website is nice, not much information. Their hours are better then most. Medicine Quantity: 5 points Awarded; They only had 4 strains available, Minimum purchase of 2 grams. Seem to concentrate on the concentrates, BHO mostly. Medicine Quality: 6 points Awarded; I got one strain it looks great, very crystal covered, light green, very little smell though. So far from what we have tried it is very good medicine. It is dryed too much I think. Overall Patient benefit: 5 points Awarded; The cost was about par. They had very little information both at the office and the website. The staff were very friendly, and helpful. The office was very sparse.

May 18, 2013:  The White Widow from New Mexico Top Organics Dispensary, nmtoporganics.org, is a nice strain, medium to heavy head buzz. It has almost no smell, and not much taste either. This strain is just strong enough for my PTSD, though only lasts for about half an hour. The cure is too too dry. Mid to dark green, lots of crystals, a small amount of orange hairs. Small to medium size buds, fairly dense. The price was $14/gram, would suggest it for medium to heavy users. On a further note I have actually grown this strain with better results, more smell, and stronger taste.