Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Medical Cannabis Program Launches Improved Patient Application

SANTA FE - The New Mexico Department of Health’s (NMDOH) Medical Cannabis Program launches a new version of the patient application, with changes that help both patients and certifying practitioners.
The application is reduced from four pages to two and can be completed electronically then printed for signing. Certifying practitioners must now send medical records with the proof of provider visit form instead of having to write lengthy explanations as required on the previous applications. Additional changes include easier-to-read font, and instruction pages for applicants and certifying practitioners. 
“The launch of the improved application is the culmination of many months of hard work by our dedicated team,” says NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “By providing a more straight-forward application process, we aim to better serve patients and certifying practitioners.”
The Department of Health has 30 days from the time it receives a completed application to approve or deny it. Applications undergo an administrative and medical review. The Department is required to issue a patient registry card within 5 days of approving a patient application.
During the last six months of 2017, the Medical Cannabis Program processed 99 percent of all completed applications in 30 days and 99 percent of patient registry cards were mailed within five days of approving a patient application.
At the end of February, according to the latest patient statistics available, there were nearly 49,000 patients in the program. The average patient age is 49-years-old. Fifty-three percent of patients are men and 47 percent are women. Of the patients who responded to the Veteran Status question on the patient application, 13 percent reported being a Veteran.

The new patient applications can be found online or below at All applications must be submitted by mail or in person. At this time, applications are not accepted electronically.
To apply for the Medical Cannabis Program, click on the application you need below.

Each day, the Medical Cannabis Program receives hundreds of patient applications. The
 Program has 30 days to approve a completed application from the date we receive it in 
our office. While it is the patient’s responsibility to submit an application at least 30 days 
before their card expires, the Program strongly encourages patients submit applications
 60 days prior to their card expiring.

Here is how patients and providers can help to ensure a smooth approval process.
  • Make sure required signatures are on the application, including from the patient and certifying practitioner.
  • Include a current, valid copy of your New Mexico identification card or your New Mexico’s Driver’s License. Most of the incomplete applications received by the Program are due to missing or expired New Mexico identification cards or expired or missing NM Driver’s License cards.
  • If your practitioner has indicated medical records are included with the application, please make sure you include them with your application.
  • Please follow the checklist on the application to ensure all required information is submitted.
Any New Mexico practitioner with prescribing authority, including your primary care 
provider, can sign the medical certification on the patient application.

The New Mexico Department of Health’s Medical Cannabis Program is not affiliated with
 any third-party businesses that sign patient certifications or complete patient
 applications. If you have paid a third party to complete your patient application, we
 advise that you call them first to check when they mailed or delivered your application
 to the Department of Health.