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Medical Marijuana Is a Growing Business in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Rachael Speegle, 34, left a full-time job as a critical care nurse last year to work at an Albuquerque medical marijuana dispensary and growing operation started by her husband.

Speegle quickly discovered that people who came to the Verdes Foundation dispensary in Albuquerque had lots of questions that called for her nursing skills.

“Their questions were so simple,” she said. For example: “How do I talk to my doctor about this? Why does my nausea feel better when I smoke it than when I eat it?”

Verdes is one of 13 licensed nonprofit producers that operate 16 dispensaries in Bernalillo County. Statewide, 23 licensed producers operate 37 dispensaries in 16 counties.

That number is certain to grow in coming months as existing licensed producers, including the Verdes Foundation, open new locations. In addition, 12 nonprofits licensed by the New Mexico Department of Health last year are setting up new growing facilities and dispensaries around the state.

Dispensaries also are starting to operate more like ordinary businesses. Many make their names and logos visible on major commercial streets and shopping centers. [Read more at the Albuquerque Journal]

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