The New Mexico State Fair becomes the second state fair to have a cannabis plant on display, according to Alberquerque Journal. A three-week old medical cannabis plant named Dorothy was displayed at the New Mexico Top Organics—Ultra Health LLC booth. It was up for opening day on September 8, however it was quickly removed before the day was over.
Cannabis is illegal in New Mexico for recreational purposes, although the state does have an operational medical cannabis program. Duke Rodriguez is the CEO of Ultra Health, which is a regulated medical cannabis producer in New Mexico. He stated in a press release, “We hope that the fair will raise the profile of medical cannabis as an agricultural asset in New Mexico, similar to the Hatch green chile, pecans and pinon nuts.”
When the cannabis plant was seen on display, a manager of the fair asked Rodriguez to remove the plant and any images of cannabis as well. However, Rodriguez claimed the state fair already knew about the cannabis plant and previously approved its presence. He said, “We disclosed the items that would be there, including the plant.” Ultra Health also paid $2,000 for the booth and had a contract with the fair.
Although Rodriguez and his company were attempting to normalize cannabis and share its many medicinal benefits with attendees of the state fair, it appears they will need to do so using a different approach.
The instance is now being investigated by the New Mexico’s Department of Health. David Morgan is the department’s public information officer, and he wrote, “We are looking into the matter and will take appropriate action, which can include suspending their business operation or other disciplinary action.”