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Enrollment in NM cannabis program up 25 percent

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s medical marijuana program has grown by about 25 percent over the past year, with nearly 11,000 new patients, according to state figures.

As of the end of May, 53,585 people were licensed to use medical marijuana, the Department of Health reported.

About 50 percent of those listed post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying condition, while the second-biggest group of users were those with severe chronic pain.

Among counties that have least 500 medical marijuana card-holders, the fastest-growing over the past year was Otero, which grew by about 82 percent.

A spokeswoman for Ultra Health, a cannabis dispensary, says that’s likely because the company opened an outlet in Alamogordo last August.

“Routinely, we see the card count go up as access goes up,” spokeswoman Marissa Novel said. “People who can benefit (from medical marijuana) have a resource in the community.”

Ultra Health announced earlier this year it was planning to develop a cultivation site elsewhere in Otero County on 200 acres of farmland it has acquired.

Other counties showing the fastest growth over the past year are Grant, 68 percent; Curry, 63 percent and Sierra and Sandoval at about 52 percent.

Use in Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties grew by 40 percent.

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