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SANTA FE – With New Mexico poised to launch commercial cannabis sales on Friday, state health officials are seeking to reassure the roughly 132,000 New Mexicans enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program that they won’t be left empty-handed.

The Department of Health, which oversees the medical cannabis program, said this week there will be a “stable, long-term” supply of cannabis products, despite an expected market rush once recreational sales begin after a year of planning and rule-making.

“We are proud to help more than 132,000 New Mexicans who use cannabis to alleviate pain and other medical symptoms,” said Dominick Zurlo, medical cannabis program director.

But some medical cannabis advocates remain concerned, citing past supply shortages and access issues.

Jason Barker, an Albuquerque resident and medical cannabis patient, said dispensaries should devote some business hours exclusively for card-carrying patients.

He also said the state has alerted medical cannabis users that they will no longer be allowed to use curbside delivery for cannabis purchases, an option that was implemented during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic to limit person-to-person contact.

“It’s going to be a hard reality for the medical patients,” Barker said in an interview. “Right now, patients have access to 100% of the supply (of licensed dispensaries) and are still having issues.”

For more, go to the Albuquerque Journal.

And for more coverage on cannabis in Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Corrales and Placitas, read The Observer this Sunday, April 3, or go to The Observer web site on Friday, April 1.