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WIRE: Judge rejects New Mexico Department of Health sanctions on cannabis seed at state fair

SANTA FE, N.M. — District Judge David. K Thomson reversed the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) sanction against medical cannabis provider Ultra Health for bringing a single seedling to the New Mexico State Fair in September 2016.

The order, released May 29, 2018, reversed the NMDOH sanction which attempted to force Ultra Health to close for five consecutive days, which also included April 20, the single busiest cannabis sales day of the year.

“The Court finds that in implementing a five day closure the Department acts arbitrarily, capriciously and not in accordance with the law (1-075R) as to both its sanction as petitioner and its obligation to the patients,” the ruling states.

“The court finds that the Petitioner prevails on the merits of their argument that the sanction imposed is excessive, arbitrary, and without much support in law or regulation,” Judge Thomson continued.

In lieu of the sanction, Judge Thomson has ordered the sanction to be reduced to a 2-day closure, which may be over eight weeks with one-half day closure or a full day closure at Ultra Health’s discretion, upon notice to NMDOH for verification.

Upon notifying NMDOH of the days Ultra Health intended to close, the department has indicated in writing they will appeal Judge Thomson’s decision.

Per the Judge’s order, Ultra Health plans to close its ten locations statewide Sunday, June 17, 2018, and use the opportunity to conduct a statewide Community Service Day. Ultra Health employees will perform community services in multiple cities, including a Route 66 and Interstate 40 West trash pick up in Albuquerque and other clean up activities in rural markets.

Ultra Health plans to close another day in July and use the day for similar community service activities.

While NMDOH has informed Ultra Health of its intent to appeal the ruling, Ultra Health believes the decision will stand review. Judge Thomson has had three cases in the last 24 months on appeal, of which all three cases were affirmed and appeals denied.

Contact: Marissa Novel 480-404-6699
marissa@ultrahealth.com

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