New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program Going Gangbusters

Medicinal cannabis in New Mexico
Image via New Mexico Department of Health

The number of registered medical marijuana patients in the U.S state of New Mexico has increased by more than 56% compared to last year.

According to statistics from the New Mexico Department of Health, 50,954 patients were registered by the end of March, compared to 32,175 in January last year. The Department states there were also 6,847 Active Personal Production Licenses in the state.

The most common conditions cannabis was being used to treat registered patients were:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (25,039)
  • Severe Chronic Pain (17,001)
  • Cancer (2,920)
  • Inflammatory autoimmune – mediated arthritis (998)
  • Epilepsy (678)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (505)
  • Intractable Nausea/Vomiting (387)
  • Glaucoma (313)

Currently, there are 21 qualifying conditions for the state’s Medical Cannabis Program (MCP). As we mentioned in February, one that may soon be added is opiate use disorder (OUD).

Under the state’s program, patients can purchase up to around the equivalent of 8 ounces of dry product in 90 days and are able to possess the same amount at any given time. With special permission, patients may also grow at home.

35 Licensed Non -profit Producers grow and distribute medicine to qualified patients via the 68 dispensaries operating in 19 counties (December 2017 figures). LNPPs are required to test medical cannabis products before sale to patients via one of  three approved laboratories. LNPPs can grow a minimum of 150 plants to a maximum of 450 plants and licensing fees are scaled according to the number of plants under cultivation.

At the end of 2017, there were also 12 approved manufacturers in New Mexico.

Any New Mexico practitioner with prescribing authority can sign a certification for a patient with a qualifying condition, assuming there is an established provider/patient relationship.

According to another report recently released by the Department, the MCP receives between 150 and 600 patient applications every day. Even with that volume, it seems most applications are attended to in a timely manner, with MCP approving 90 percent of completed patient applications within 30 days. The patient application form was recently reduced from four pages to two and can now be completed electronically; then printed for signing.

More on New Mexico’s medical cannabis program can be viewed here.