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Health Dept. to list med-pot growers on website today

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The names of New Mexico nonprofits licensed to grow and sell medical marijuana will be identified publicly on the state Department of Health’s website today for the first time since lawmakers approved the cannabis program in 2007.

The names of all 35 licensed nonprofit producers will be posted at nmhealth.org, together with addresses of those with active dispensaries, agency spokesman Kenny Vigil said.

The agency will also honor requests from the public to view records submitted by producers, including applications and other records, Vigil said.

Last week, the

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Journal requested applications and other documents submitted by licensed producers to the Department of Health since Jan. 1, 2015. The department responded Thursday that the request was “excessively burdensome or broad” and that the agency could not respond until April 6.

The information the agency will post on its website will be similar to a list of producers and dispensaries it has provided for years to patients licensed to buy medical pot.

“We provide a list for patients when they get their ID cards for the program, and that is essentially what will be posted on the website in some fashion,” Vigil said.

The agency will not disclose information about some 21,000 patients certified to purchase medical cannabis.

In the past, the identities and other information about medical pot producers remained confidential under rules issued by the Department of Health.

The confidentiality rule was challenged last year in a lawsuit filed by freelance journalist Peter St. Cyr and the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government. The suit contends that the rule violated the state’s open-records law.

The agency has been reworking the rules since July, when Gov. Susana Martinez ordered officials to make the information public in the interest of transparency.

New Mexico has 35 licensed producers, including 12 that were selected for licensing last year. Many of the 12 new producers do not have active dispensaries, Vigil said.

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