Santa Fe County Sees ‘Green Rush’ As Number Of Medical Marijuana Cardholders Grows

By Daniel J. Chacón
The Santa Fe New Mexican

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) According to statistics from the New Mexico Department of Health, the number of medical marijuana cardholders increased nearly 43 percent from January 2017 to January 2018.

The Santa Fe New Mexican

A longtime sufferer of insomnia, Judith Thornburgh has experimented with a variety of natural remedies over the years — hoping to end her real-life nightmare of incessant sleepless nights.

Nothing ever worked.

Nothing, that is, until the 75-year-old tried medical marijuana.

“Forty years of insomnia, and I’m sleeping like a baby,” Thornburgh said Wednesday morning before walking into a medical marijuana dispensary to buy a bag of weed.

“I’m new to this,” she added. “I only got my card this year.”

Thornburgh is part of a growing trend in Santa Fe County, where the number of medical marijuana cardholders increased nearly 43 percent from January 2017 to January 2018, according to statistics from the New Mexico Department of Health.

Of the state’s nearly 48,000 medical marijuana cardholders, about 1 in 10 — or 5,245 — live in Santa Fe County.
After Bernalillo County, which includes the Albuquerque metropolitan area, Santa Fe County has the second-highest number of medical marijuana cardholders in the state.

Budding entrepreneurs have taken notice.

“They call it ‘the green rush’ right now,” said Lane Stevens, manager of Ultra Health’s medical marijuana dispensary on St. Michael’s Drive. “It really is huge.”

New crop of dispensaries
Santa Fe County is home to seven medical marijuana dispensaries, including two that opened for business less than two weeks apart in December. One of those new businesses, Minerva Canna Group on Cerrillos Road, claims to be the largest in the state, at least by square footage.

“As far as operating dispensaries in the state of New Mexico, hands down, we’re the largest,” Minerva manager Katie Bright said.

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