Monday, March 25, 2019

New Mexico Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Meeting | March 29 2019 @ 10:00 AM

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Santa Fe, NM - At the Friday, March 29th medical cannabis advisory board hearing, the Department of Health’s newly appointed Cabinet Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel, is expected to provide her final decision on two petitions to add new Health Conditions into New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program.

Meeting Details:
Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Meeting
Friday March 29 2019 @ 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
New Mexico Department of Health, Harold Runnels Building
1190 S. St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505

The Medical Cannabis Advisory Board plays an important role in the Medical Cannabis Program. The board, composed of board-certified medical practitioners, is appointed by the NMDOH Cabinet Secretary and meets twice a year. The board is tasked with reviewing petitions to add medical conditions, medical treatments or diseases to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify for the medical use of cannabis, and make recommendations to the Secretary, who then takes final action.

2018 Petitions Awaiting Final Decision from the Secretary of HealthThe Secretary of Health has final say on these two previously submitted petitions that Doctor’s on the Advisory Board have recommended to add to the medical cannabis program, from September 07, 2018 and December 7, 2018.

Action is pending on these two petitions:
Petition #1: Requesting The Inclusion Of A New Medical Condition: Autism Spectrum Disorders (Submitted by Safe Access New Mexico)

Currently there are nine states and one US Territory allowing for the treatment of Autism as a qualifying condition with medical cannabis in state programs; Colorado(just passed & awaiting signature), Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, and Utah.

These six states are considered "ASD friendly" because their laws allow for a doctor's discretion to recommend medical cannabis for debilitating conditions: California, Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Washington D.C.

Petition #2: Requesting The Inclusion Of A New Medical Condition: Degenerative Neurological Disorders And Neuroprotective Applications (Submitted by Safe Access New Mexico)

The purpose of this petition is to allow use of medical cannabis as a treatment for the health conditions that are Degenerative Neurological Disorders and fall under Neuroprotective Applications. All the research for this petition is all the research used by the US Government for US Patent 6630507: ‘Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants’.

Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

According to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, there are more than 600 nervous system diseases. There is no cure for most neurological disorders, so the focus of treatment is on limiting the progression of the disorder and managing symptoms. Research has shown that cannabis possesses neuroprotective effects, which in turn support the health of the brain, spinal cord and nerves, and help in preventing and limiting the progression of various neurological disorders. The major cannabinoids found in cannabis have shown they can help protect neurons, modulate the inflammatory response and encourage neuroregeneration

2019 Petitions Under Review by the Medical Cannabis Advisory BoardThe Doctor’s on the medical cannabis advisory board is expected to review a petition at the March meeting to add Substance Abuse Disorder (submitted by Safe Access New Mexico) and a separate petition to add Opiate Use Disorder (submitted by the Governor’s Office) as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis in New Mexico. The petition to add Substance Abuse Disorder already includes Opiate Use Disorder, in addition to Tobacco Use Disorder, Stimulant Use Disorder, and Hallucinogen Use Disorder. Both petitions address treating addiction, a major problem in New Mexico.

2019 Petition #1: Requesting The Inclusion Of A New Medical Condition: Substance Abuse Disorder (Submitted by Safe Access New Mexico)

California and Maine, both have addiction treatment centers using medical cannabis as the frontline treatment for substance abuse.

Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, says generally, cannabidiol is the more important compound when it comes to using medical cannabis as a treatment for addiction. It is one of the two primary cannabinoids, along with Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), found in the cannabis plant. In terms of the wider scope of medical cannabis research, this is the "same cannabidiol being looked at for the kids with epilepsy," Hurd said in a CNN interview.

THC, she says, binds to cannabinoid receptors in our brains (as do the natural cannabinoids our bodies produce), and it is the stimulation of those receptors that brings a "high." By comparison, cannabidiol has very weak effects in this regard and negatively modulates that receptor, instead.

Yet cannabidiol reverses some of the brain changes that occur with heroin use, Hurd says, based on her own studies of the compound.

2019 Petition#2: Opiate Use Disorder as a qualifying condition.
The board is expected to review a petition at the March meeting to add Opiate Use Disorder as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis in New Mexico.

In her State of the State address last month, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham directed NMDOH to include opioid addiction as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis. For additional information about this petition, contact Paul Rhien at 505-470-2290 (NMDOH Media Contact) with your questions.

“We will be tough, smart, and we will proceed with empathy for the families caught in [the opioid] crisis,” said Lujan Grisham. “We will not stand in the way of our neighbors who are struggling with addiction and want to recover. Instead we will help them all along the way.”

The key word in the Governor’s statement is "Addiction", and that is what is really being treated with this petition, if this is added, not opioid misuse or abuse. Our state's medical cannabis program already covers all health conditions that opioids are prescribed for.
Related Article: ‘Any Health Condition Opioids Are Prescribed For Are Already Part Of New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program’ | Wednesday, January 16, 2019 | Cannabis News Journal |

Today the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program has over 70,000 registered participants with over 75 dispensaries state-wide operated by 35 licensed non-profit producers (LNPP’s). The Medical Cannabis Program (MCP) was created in 2007, as the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, under chapter 210 Senate Bill 523.

New Mexico’s medical cannabis history started in 1978, after public hearings the legislature enacted H.B. 329, the nation’s first law recognizing the medical value of cannabis…the first law.

“Section 2. PURPOSE OF ACT.—The purpose of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act is to allow the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.”

Policy Resource To Download and Review:
‘Medical Cannabis in America- The Medical Cannabis Briefing Book, 116th Congress’ |
Americans For Safe Access | March 2019

Medical Cannabis in America: The Medical Cannabis Briefing Book is designed for Members of the 116th Congress, lawmakers and regulators everywhere. In addition to policy recommendations, the Briefing Book contains ASA's expansive new legislative solution for a rescheduled or descheduled cannabis future. The Medical Cannabis Control Act of 2019 will create a new federal agency to oversee medical cannabis and remove that authority from NIDA, DOJ, HHS, and FDA. With a focus on patient safety and not criminal prosecutions, this agency will assist state programs to help medical cannabis patients rather than hinder them.

Download The 2019 Briefing Book