Pubdate: Tue, 23 Feb 2016
Source: Albuquerque Journal (NM)
Copyright: 2016 The Associated Press
Author: Susan Montoya Bryan, the Associated Press


Names Will Become Public on Monday

The names of licensed nonprofit medical marijuana producers and those 
seeking licenses from the state will become public under new rules 
taking effect next week, the New Mexico Department of Health announced Monday.

The confidentiality surrounding producers was challenged last year in 
a lawsuit filed by freelance journalist Peter St. Cyr and the New 
Mexico Foundation for Open Government. They argued the Health 
Department was violating public records law by keeping producers' names secret.

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.

A public hearing was held in January, and a hearing officer delivered 
the final recommendation to the department earlier this month.

The agency on Monday outlined details of the new rules on its 
website, saying the changes will take effect next Monday after being 
published in the state register.

The changes in confidentiality apply only to producers and producer 
applicants, not the more than 21,000 patients certified in the state 
Medical Cannabis Program.

The department plans to post the producer information it gives 
patients on its website, said agency spokesman Kenny Vigil.

The department will not release some information, including the home 
addresses and personal phone numbers of employees and board members, 
Social Security numbers, income tax returns and any information that 
identifies a person as a qualified patient enrolled in the medical 
marijuana program.

There are 35 licensed producers in the state, including 12 that were 
selected for licensing last year.

The revamped rules will also allow couriers to deliver from producers 
to manufacturers and laboratories. They previously were limited to 
ferrying items just between producers and patients.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom