Out-of-state residents aiming to travel to buy medical marijuana in New Mexico will soon be out of luck. The state's legislature has voted in a new law stipulating that only qualifying New Mexico residents will be eligible for a marijuana card. This ID document is required for the purchase of cannabis.
The residency law, which originated in the state Senate, passed by a wide majority in both that body and in the House of Representatives.
Originally, such a requirement was apparently to be stipulated in the law legalizing the sale and consumption of medical marijuana. However, late last year the Arizona-resident CEO of the state's largest dispensary operator, privately held Ultra Health, successfully sued to obtain a medical marijuana card. He was joined by two individuals from Texas in this legal action.
State health officials lobbied lawmakers to reinstate the residency requirement, on concerns about potential federal government intervention over the moving of cannabis across state lines.
According to state government statistics from The Associated Press, 613 out-of-state residents hold New Mexico medical marijuana cards. Many of these people are from neighboring Texas and Arizona. Despite efforts to legalize recreational cannabis, New Mexico still bars this form of the drug.
According to the New Mexico Department of Health, non-residents who have managed to obtain cards will be allowed to keep them for up to three years until they expire. The new law will apparently take effect in the coming months.
One marijuana stock that could potentially feel some impact from the reinstatement is Charlotte's Web Holdings (CWBHF -4.10%). Although based in Colorado, Charlotte's Web has a range of its cannabidiol (CBD) products available at various New Mexico dispensaries.
Charlotte's Web shares fell slightly in trading on Tuesday.