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NMMCPAA: What is it & Who Leads It?


This is a good read filled with passion and knowledge. I had the opportunity to chat with Chad Lozano. He is the Secretary for New Mexico Medical Cannabis Patients Advocacy Alliance. He is a young man who is very passionate about making quality medicine available to those who need it.

Tell us about your organization.

New Mexico Medical Cannabis Patients Advocacy Alliance (NMMCPAA) We’re a state non profit who is geared at helping the patients of New Mexico, we speak with politicians, dispensary owners, and conduct strain reviews of the cannabis that comes from the dispensaries here.

Why did you get involved?

I moved back from Hawaii in 2012, I became an advocate in 2010 however once I lost my older sister, and I was dealing with PTSD from the Iraq war. I found cannabis, and also figured out that we all had been lied to for so long, and that we needed other options, especially for veterans like myself and my late sister.

What’s the best part of the cannabis industry in NM?

I think the fact that the patients are very passionate, and there’s so much education about cannabis floating around the program here, and more opportunities for it showing up more and more. The only way we will fight ignorance of this plant is education.

What’s the worst part of the cannabis industry in NM?

Lack of access, lack of producers, the price of cannabis, price for producers license (LNPP) and foolish rules the DOH (Department of Health) imposes on the program that hinders it from expanding like it should.

How can we make a change for the better?

We really need more producers. Especially in the rural areas of New Mexico, we suffer the most. In Albuquerque, you can’t throw a stick without hitting a dispensary, in rural NM we beg for producers to come here, and a lot of the time they run out. PPLs (personal production license) are very important to us down here, and the newly added gifting, and sharing laws that were passed and was signed into law this last legislative session.

Do you support rec, rec & medical, or just medical?

I support rec, but only if the medical program stays intact, flourishes, and rec pays for the medical program, allowing it to be tax free. I do not support the route New Mexico is currently headed with legalization, and I hope we look at the negative legislation other states have created and go the opposite route. The black market is a huge concern still in rec markets right now, which is mostly due to high taxes, and outdated federal laws.

What’s the biggest difference between NM cannabis and the Industry in other states?

Cannabis and the cannabis Industry. A lot of the time, New Mexico gets the short end of the stick. We were stuck with an administration who hated cannabis and tried to ruin the program every chance they had, so now we’re starting over in a way. Also the quality of cannabis on the shelves here is inferior compared to what is found in other states’ markets. However, we have really good PPL growers in NM. Some of which run head to head, if not beat, some of the best growers in North America. Green chile isn’t the only thing that’s fire down here, when it comes to PPLs anyway.

Towards the end of chatting, I asked if there was anything else we needed to hear or add and he had this to say, “I hope the patients of NM know they have a voice, and to stop living in fear and stigma, especially my fellow veterans.” This is the words of a great guy.

I know, I know. There are no NMBEARDEDMAN opinions in this article, but this is something that’s big in New Mexico. This something that is helping change laws. We need more people, not just in New Mexico but everywhere, to stand up for cannabis, stand up for our health, and stand up for our rights. So take a fat rip and stand up (hey, the hit may hit you a lil more powerful).

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