Friday, June 7, 2019

New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program Now Has 28 Qualifying Health Conditions



The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) announced on Thursday, June 6 2019 that, effective immediately, several new qualifying conditions for enrollment will be added for the state Medical Cannabis Program (MCP).

Topping the list is opioid use disorder, a condition the program’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board unanimously recommended (Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Approves Petition) to support at its most recent meeting in late March. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham committed to adding the condition the program in an effort to continue the state’s downward trend in drug overdose deaths.

In addition to ruling on the board’s recommendations from March, NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Kunkel also ruled on a backlog of recommendations made by the board at its two previous meetings in September and December of last year, both left undecided by the previous administration.

The additional new qualifying medical conditions for the MCP are:
  • Alzheimer’s Disease (Unknown Petitioner)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (Petitioned to be added by Safe Access New Mexico)
  • Three Degenerative Neurological Disorders: Friedreich’s Ataxia, Lewy Body Disease, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (Petitioned to be added by Safe Access New Mexico)
The six new qualifying conditions raises the total number of qualifying conditions for the program to 28.

In the last year, Safe Access New Mexico (A Chapter of Americans For Safe Access), has had success in getting 5 New health conditions added into New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program.
“We need to explore and pursue every available means of responding to the health and wellness needs of our neighbors here in New Mexico,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said.
“Compassion must guide our decision-making. Today marks an important and long-overdue step forward after too many years of status quo.”

“Adding these conditions to the Medical Cannabis Program provides medical providers new tools for relieving symptoms that may otherwise be difficult, if not impossible in some cases, to relieve through conventional means,” said Secretary Kunkel. “Thousands of New Mexicans may find relief from their symptoms through medical cannabis that they can’t get anywhere else.”

The Medical Cannabis Advisory Board did not recommend the addition of Nystagmus (a condition that causes involuntary eye movement) or People Ages 65 and over. The Secretary of Health accepts their recommendation not to add these qualifying conditions. Substance Use Disorder was recommended but will not be adopted at this time as the term is overly broad and needs additional clarification.

The full document outlining the Secretary of Health’s decision can be found in Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Reports and Recommendations. The Medical Cannabis Program provides more information for health providers, patients and caregivers.

At the end of May 2019, the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program now has almost 75,000 registered participants with over 90 dispensaries 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.
There is no cost to apply to be a registered participant in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program. The new qualifying health conditions are already updated on the patient and caregiver applications.

There are now 28 qualifying conditions for the medical cannabis program in New Mexico:

  1. Alzheimer's Disease
  2. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  3. Autism Spectrum Disorder
  4. Cancer
  5. Crohn's Disease
  6. Damage to the Nervous Tissue of the Spinal Cord (with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity)
  7. Epilepsy/Seizure Disorder
  8. Friedreich's Ataxia
  9. Glaucoma
  10. Hepatitis C Infection
  11. HIV/AIDS
  12. Hospice Care
  13. Huntington's Disease
  14. Inclusion Body Myositis
  15. Inflammatory Autoimmune Mediated Arthritis
  16. Intractable Nausea/Vomiting
  17. Lewy Body Disease
  18. Multiple Sclerosis
  19. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  20. Opioid Use Disorder
  21. Painful Peripheral Neuropathy
  22. Parkinson's Disease
  23. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  24. Severe Anorexia/Cachexia
  25. Severe Chronic Pain
  26. Spasmodic Torticollis (Cervical Dystonia)
  27. Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  28. Ulcerative Colitis

The New Mexico Department of Health reports that 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.
  • 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.

Forms & Documents From the New Mexico Department of Health Medical Cannabis Program Office:

This section is a comprehensive reference to all of the forms, documents, publications and resources that are currently available for the Medical Cannabis Program (MCP).
Applications

Medical Cannabis Patient Application

Medical Cannabis Caregiver Application

Medical Cannabis Personal Production Application


General Information:

Medical Cannabis Law Enforcement Fact Sheet

Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act

Medical Cannabis Petition Requirements


MCP Rules & Regulations:
NMAC 7.34.2 - Medical cannabis advisory board responsibilities and duties.

NMAC 7.34.3 - Medical cannabis registry identification cards.

NMAC 7.34.4 - Medical cannabis licensing requirements for producers, couriers, manufacturers and laboratories.


Medical Cannabis Program Contact Information:
Physical Address
Medical Cannabis Program
1474 Rodeo Rd., Suite 200
Santa Fe, NM 87505
505-827-2321 (Phone)
505-476-3025 (Fax)

Mailing Address
Department of Health
Medical Cannabis Program
PO Box 26110
Santa Fe, NM, 87502-6110

Email Address
medical.cannabis@state.nm.us


Effective Dates of New Cannabis Related Laws for New Mexico in 2019:
Cannabis Decriminalization for the State, The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2019 (SB-323 Link: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/final/SB0323.pdf)


Medical Cannabis Changes Law (SB-406) June 14 is the Effective date of this legislation since it is not a general appropriation bill or a bill carrying an emergency clause or other specified date. (SB-406 Link: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/final/SB0406.pdf)


Add E-Cigs to Clean Indoor Air Act, June 14 is the Effective date of this legislation since it is not a general appropriation bill or a bill carrying an emergency clause or other specified date. (Link: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/final/HB0256.pdf)


Medical Cannabis in Schools Law, SB-204, June 14 is the Effective date of this legislation since it is not a general appropriation bill or a bill carrying an emergency clause or other specified date. (Link: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/final/SB0204.pdf)



“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.”


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