““We used the same process that we’ve been using for the last two years…”
The head of New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program on Monday defended a highly criticized process the state followed to issue a coveted marijuana production license just one day before a new agency assumed regulatory authority.
On June 23, the Department of Health opened a five-day window to apply for lucrative marijuana producer licenses, the first time it had sought applications in six years.
But the department gave little public notice.
The department posted a link to the application on its website but didn’t issue a news release or otherwise alert the public, nor did the posting explicitly state new applications were being accepted.
The one and only company that applied — Albuquerque-based GH LLC — was granted a license June 28. That was a day after high-level officials conducted a Sunday inspection of the company’s facilities and a day before the medical program’s transfer of power to the newly created Cannabis Control Division.
Program Director Dr. Dominick Zurlo said the department didn’t do anything out of the norm.
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