Sunday, November 10, 2019

Upcoming Meetings for New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program, Hemp Program, and for proposed Recreational Cannabis legislation


At the end of October 2019 in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program, there are 34 licensed nonprofit producers with 98 dispensary locations across 20 counties serving 77,168 patients enrolled as of September 30, 2019, according to data from New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH). In 2019, New Mexico’s medical cannabis law was updated twice with passing of 2 new laws, Senate Bill 204, Medical Cannabis in School and with Senate Bill 406, Medical Cannabis Changes. Also in 2019, New Mexico lawmakers passed a law to decriminalize cannabis with Senate Bill 323, Decrease Cannabis Penalties. Also during the 2019 legislative session, House Bill 581 Hemp Manufacturing Act was passed and signed into law. The legislation grants NMDA and the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) the regulatory authority over Hemp manufacturers, processors, labs, researchers and plant breeders.

Governor Lujan Grisham signed a bill (SB 406) that broadly expanded the state’s program by providing exemptions from criminal and civil liability for all patients, caregivers, and employees; established civil rights protections in the area of child custody and medical care including organ transplant; creates employment protections preventing employers from taking adverse actions; creates a 3-year registry card; requires the DOH to publish an annual report on the affordability and accessibility to medical cannabis including access fort hose in rural areas and living in subsidized housing; allows DOH to license on-site consumption of cannabis; and that requires DOH to create product safety and quality rules by December 2019.

Regulators in 2019 also added Opioid use disorder per the Governor’s request and added six (6) new additional health conditions to the program petitioned by patient advocates from Safe Access New Mexico that include: Sleep apnea, Alzheimer's disease, Autism spectrum disorder, Friedreich’s Ataxia, Lewy Body Disease, and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (3 degenerative neurological disorders) all as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Key Dates and News:
  • November 13, 2019 at 2:30 PM | Governor’s Legalization Work Group Presentation
  • November 22, 2019 at 9:00 AM | Medical Cannabis Program Proposed Rule Hearing
  • November 25-26 in Santa Fe | Governor’s Legalization Work Group Presentation
  • December 2, 2019 at 9:00 AM | Hemp Program Proposed Rule Hearing 
  • December 10, 2019 at 1:30 PM | Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Hearing 
  • Additional details below for each meeting
  • Policy Letter to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham Formally Requesting Cannabis Legislation for 2020 | Cannabis News Journal | http://www.cannabisnewsjournal.co/2019/10/policy-letter-to-governor-michelle.html
  • Policy Letter Seeks Executive Order By New Mexico's Governor For Medical Cannabis in School Law | Cannabis News Journal | http://www.cannabisnewsjournal.co/2019/10/policy-letter-seeks-executive-order-by.html
  • The Third Annual Essie Awards: Nominate the best in New Mexico’s 2019 Industry HERE!! | Established by Kurple Magazine |  Open nominations from November 1st through December 6th, 2019 | Awards February 1, 2020 at Las Puertas Event Center

It is important for all medical cannabis advocates to think about the following questions:
" Without hearing from you, how will your legislator know what is important to you?
" Do you want to trust decisions about access to medical cannabis solely to lobbyists and policymakers?

Each one of us and every individual who holds a state license that authorizes the use or provision of cannabis for medical purposes is breaking federal law.

The point is that YOU ARE the patient, the physician, the caregiver, the provider, the lawyer, the nurse, or family member who is affected by medical cannabis laws and policy. You are THE VOTER with the power to hold elected officials accountable for their positions on policy matters. And you are the expert about how these laws and policies affect your daily life.

So if you are not talking with you elected officials about medical cannabis, then ask yourself, "Who is?"

Upcoming Proposed Rule Hearings, MCAB Hearing, and Legislative Hearings:

November 13, 2019 at 2:30 PM | Governor’s Legalization Work Group Presentation

On Wednesday, November 13th at 2:30 pm the Governor’s Legalization Work Group Chairman Davis presents the Work Group recommendations to the Economic & Rural Development Interim Committee in Room 322 of the State Capitol building. Public Comment is scheduled after Chairperson Davis presents the recommendations at 4 pm.

November 13, 2019 at 2:30 PM: Economic Benefits of Legalization of Recreational Cannabis:
—Pat Davis, Chair, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's Cannabis Legalization Working Group
—Mark R. Shea, Secretary, Department of Public Safety
—Sarah S. Stith, Assistant Professor of Economics, UNM

No electronic handouts are available as of yet for the committee hearing.
Economic & Rural Development Interim Committee Link: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Committee/Interim_Committee?CommitteeCode=ERDT


Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's Cannabis Legalization Working Group in the News:
Problems in the medical cannabis program, like this, need to be addressed first by elected officials;
“Medical marijuana users struggle to keep up with costs” | ABQ Journal | https://www.abqjournal.com/1386640/medical-marijuana-users-struggle-to-keep-up-with-costs.html


“The last two bills have failed in the Senate Finance committee. I don’t see any way that this bill is going to make it further on,” Ford said. “I guess I expected a little more progressive thinking in how they were going to approach this.”

“Josh McCurdy with the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Patients Advocate Alliance said the state should focus on making sure patients in rural areas have access to cannabis before branching out to recreational legalization. McCurdy lives in Ruidoso and said many dispensaries in his area have a hard time keeping up with demand.”
“Mixed responses to suggestions from marijuana legalization work group” | NM Political Report | https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2019/10/17/mixed-responses-to-suggestions-from-legalization-work-group/


“If lawmakers in New Mexico are going to take on the failed war on drugs, then please finish what you started with medical cannabis. Please focus on how the Medical Cannabis in Schools law passed this year is being ignored by the Public Education Department and all the schools that are keeping kids who are medical cannabis patients from being able to attend their school.”
“Work group’s plan will devastate medical pot | ABQ Journal | https://www.abqjournal.com/1383936/work-groups-plan-will-devastate-medical-pot.html?fbclid=IwAR0aBEuhgvrS4FKSeEPROpHUaMOCJNmIpYBXv1_d8mJtXcvME8zQy7UpQXQ


“Recreational cannabis
As another example, during the last session, Gabello and spokesman Tripp Stelnicki suggested to Lujan Grisham that she make a more concerted push for legalizing recreational cannabis in the following session.
She agreed, said she would make the issue a priority and created a task force on cannabis that worked throughout the year.”
“Inside Lujan Grisham’s inner circle” | Santa Fe New Mexican | https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/inside-lujan-grisham-s-inner-circle/article_c74e34c3-e82d-5167-bd80-bca6ef805255.html



November 22, 2019 at 9:00 AM | Medical Cannabis Program Proposed Rule Hearing 

The New Mexico Department of Health (Department) will hold a public hearing on the proposed repeal and replacement of various rule sections of Department rules 7.34.2 Medical cannabis advisory board responsibilities and duties, 7.34.3 Medical cannabis registry identification cards, and 7.34.4 Medical cannabis licensing requirements for producers, couriers, manufacturers and laboratories NMAC. The hearing will be held on November 22, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in the auditorium of the Harold Runnels Building, located at 1190 St. Francis Drive in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The proposed rule revisions include new provisions in 7.34.4 NMAC concerning reciprocity for individuals who hold proof of authorization to participate in the medical cannabis program of another state of the United States, the District of Columbia, a territory or commonwealth of the United States, or a New Mexico Indian nation, tribe or pueblo.

The proposed rule revisions also include provisions in 7.34.4 NMAC for the establishment and operation of cannabis consumption areas for qualified patients, that are operated by licensed nonprofit producers.

The proposed rule revisions also include various revisions to the licensing requirements at 7.34.4 NMAC for licensed nonprofit producers, manufacturers, couriers, and laboratories, including but not limited to:
• Cannabis testing standards and requirements, including but not limited to microbiological, mycotoxin, residual solvent, and THC potency testing, new requirements for testing for pesticide residue and end product testing, and new sampling standards;

• Cannabis packaging and labeling requirements;

• Application requirements and licensing standards for nonprofit producers, manufacturers, laboratories, and couriers;

• Fees for couriers and manufacturers;

• Provisions concerning compliance by licensees’ employees with the NM Parental Responsibility Act; and

• Disciplinary actions and appeals for producers, manufacturers, laboratories, and couriers.

The proposed rule revisions also include revisions to definitions at sections 7.34.2.7, 7.34.3.7, and 7.34.4.7 NMAC.

Free copies of the full text of the proposed rule amendments can be obtained online from the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at http://nmhealth.org/about/asd/cmo/rules/ or from Andrea Sundberg using the contact information below.

The public hearing will be conducted to receive public comment on the proposed repeal and replacement of various sections of Parts 7.34.2, 7.34.3, and 7.34.4 NMAC. Any interested member of the public may attend the hearing and submit data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing on the proposed rule amendments during the hearing.

Written public comments may also be submitted prior to the date of the hearing. Please submit any written comments regarding the proposed rule amendments to the attention of :

Andrea Sundberg
NM Department of Health
Medical Cannabis Program
P.O. Box 26110
Santa Fe, NM 87502-6110

Or at: MCP.comment@state.nm.us

Written comments must be received by the close of the public rule hearing on November 22, 2019. All written comments will be published on the agency website at http://nmhealth.org/about/asd/cmo/rules/ within 3 days of receipt, and will be available at the New Mexico Department of Health Medical Cannabis Program for public inspection.

View the NMDOH Public Meeting Notice: https://nmhealth.org/publication/view/rules/5396/



November 25-26 in Santa Fe | Governor’s Legalization Work Group Presentation

The Governor’s Legalization Work Group Chairman Davis presents the Work Group recommendations to the Courts, Corrections and Justice Interim Committee.

Time, Room location, and Additional Details TBA.

Courts, Corrections and Justice Interim Committee Link: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Committee/Interim_Committee?CommitteeCode=CCJ



December 2, 2019 at 9:00 AM | Hemp Program Proposed Rule Hearing 

The Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department (“NMED”) will hold a public hearing beginning at 9:00 a.m. on December 2, 2019 and continuing thereafter as necessary at the Runnels Auditorium in the Harold Runnels Building, 1190 South St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, NM, 87505. The hearing location may change prior to the hearing date, and those interested in attending should visit NMED’s website prior to the hearing: https://www.env.nm.gov/public-notices/.

The purpose of the hearing is to consider the adoption of new rule 20.10.2 NMAC, Hemp Post-Harvest Processing of the Environmental Protection Regulations, which provides a regulatory framework for the emerging hemp market through a permitting process. NMED’s Environmental Health Bureau (“Bureau”) is the proponent of the proposed new rule.

On July 1, 2019 the Hemp Manufacturing Act (“Hemp Act”) NMSA 1978, Sections 76-24-1 to -10 took effect, delegating regulatory authority to NMED over the extraction, processing, transportation, and testing of post-harvest hemp and hemp-derived products. In adherence to the Hemp Act, NMED promulgated 20.10.2 NMAC- Hemp Post-Harvest Processing (“Emergency Rule”) on an emergency basis in accordance with Section 14-4-5.6 of the State Rules Act, NMSA 1978, § 14-4-1 to -11. NMED concluded that, in these circumstances, the time required to comply with and complete the procedures of the State Rules Act would cause an imminent peril to the environment, public health, safety and welfare.

Written comments regarding the proposed new rule may be addressed to Mr. Cody Barnes, Hearing Office Administrator, at the below address, and should reference docket number NMED 19-41 (R).

Cody Barnes, Hearing Office Administrator
New Mexico Environment Department
Harold Runnels Building
P.O. Box 5469
Santa Fe, NM 87502
telephone: (505) 827-2428
email: cody.barnes@state.nm.us

Pursuant to 20.1.9.14 NMAC, any member of the public may file an entry of appearance as a party at the hearing. The entry of appearance shall be filed with Cody Barnes, at the above address, no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 15, 2019.

The Hearing Officer will allow for public comment at various points during the hearing. There will be a section dedicated to public comment on December 2, 2019 beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Links to NM Hemp Program :
https://www.env.nm.gov/hempprogram/
https://hemp.nmsu.edu/



December 10, 2019 at 1:30 PM | Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Hearing 

The New Mexico Department of Health will hold a Medical Cannabis Advisory Board meeting on Tuesday December 10, 2019, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Harold Runnels Building Auditorium, located at 1190 St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The public meeting is conducted to accept and review petitions received by the 30 day public notice deadline, review and recommend to the department for approval additional debilitating medical conditions that would benefit from the medical use of cannabis, accept and review petitions to add medical conditions, medical treatments or diseases to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify for the medical use of cannabis, review conditions previously reviewed by the board and approved by the secretary for the purpose of determining whether to recommend the revision of eligibility criteria for persons applying under those conditions or to review new medical and scientific evidence pertaining to currently approved conditions.

The public meeting is also conducted for the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board to recommend to the Department quantities of cannabis that a reciprocal participant may obtain and possess.

Petitions to add conditions may be accepted at any time. Petitions which have been received 30 days prior to the meeting, by the end of business on November 12, 2019, will be scheduled for the December 10, 2019 meeting.

View the NMDOH Public Meeting Notice: https://nmhealth.org/publication/view/meeting/5448/

Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Hearing
Tuesday December 10 @ 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Harold Runnels Building
1190 S. St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505

The meeting will be on the first floor in the auditorium (Room A-1006). Petitions to add conditions may be accepted at any time. Those received 30 days prior to the meeting, by the end of business on November 12, 2019, will be scheduled for the December 10, 2019 meeting.




The Second Session of the 54th Legislature

December 16, 2019 - January 17, 2020 Legislation may be prefiled
January 21 Opening day (noon)
February 5 Deadline for introduction
February 20 Session ends (noon)
March 11 Legislation not acted upon by governor is pocket vetoed
May 20 Effective date of legislation not a general appropriation bill or a bill carrying an emergency clause or other specified date
https://www.nmlegis.gov/




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