YouTube Video Shot Inside Medical Pot Grow Raises Questions

One of New Mexico’s licensed pot producers is under fire over a YouTube music video featuring the facility’s marijuana as a backdrop.
A frame capture of Versatile Verse’s music video for “New Mexico.”

The Albuquerque Journal reports that a Sept. 1 letter from the state’s Medical Cannabis Program asks New Mexico Top Organics – Ultra Health how hip-hop artist Versatile Verse managed to get inside the facility and what benefit the video offers to qualified patients or the program.

“What is the intended purpose of the video?” Ken Groggel, manager of the state’s Medical Cannabis Program, asked in a letter Ultra Health later posted on Instagram. “Who is the intended audience?”

Ultra Health LLC President and CEO Duke Rodriquez says this isn’t the first video they’ve had filmed in the facility but it is the first time the Department of Health has balked.

“It’s kind of funny,” he said. “It’s kind of like the Department of Health is expressing a dislike for music, or maybe that type of music.”

The facility was featured in the video for Versatile Verse’s song “New Mexico,” which has gained more than 3,500 views on YouTube.

Rodriquez said the video was supervised by Ultra Health employees and no one touched the medicine. In fact, the musicians can be seen wearing gloves, just in case.

“There was never any risk to the plant or to the (medical cannabis) patient,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the musical crew wasn’t charged for use of the facilities. The song does not speak about marijuana and instead talks about the tributes of New Mexico where, as the lyrics go, “the chile is green, and the city is cold.”

“They weren’t advocating the illegal use of cannabis, or trying to get young people to try it,” Rodriquez said.

The Department of Health gave Ultra Health until Sept. 16 to respond to its questions.