In 2007, the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use act was established, which allows the New Mexico Department of Health to register patients to legally possess and use medical cannabis. Under this bill, patients can also legally grow their medical marijuana.
The New Mexico Department of Health Cannabis Program
The New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program is only available to New Mexico residents with certain medical conditions. Medical marijuana products are distributed by State approved dispensaries only. If you believe your medical condition(s) qualify for a Medical Cannabis card, discuss your symptoms with a licensed physician. Once the doctor has approved you to receive medical cannabis, you must submit an application to the New Mexico Department of Health’s Medical Cannabis Program administrator’s office along with all required forms.
Which conditions qualify for the Medical Marijuana Program in NM?
Patients in New Mexico diagnosed with one or more of the following medical conditions are allowed legal protection under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act:
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Hepatitis C
- Huntington’s Disease
- Hospice Care
- Inclusion Body Myositis
- Inflammatory Autoimmune-mediated Arthritis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord
- Painful peripheral neuropathy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Severe Chronic Pain
- Severe Anorexia/Cachexia
- Spasmodic Torticollis (Cervical Dystonia
- Ulcerative Coltis
Will additional conditions be added to the list of qualifying conditions?
The Medical Advisory Board can be petitioned with a request to add a new condition to the list of qualifying conditions. The Medical Advisory Board will hold a public forum where the public is allowed to present evidence about the benefits of cannabis relating to the medical condition. The board members will then decide whether or not they agree that medical marijuana is a viable treatment for the medical condition.
Where can I find a Medical Marijuana Doctor in NM?
Medical practitioners in New Mexico cannot prescribe cannabis; they can only make recommendations.
The New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program has both mental health specialists and physicians who are licensed to diagnose any of the qualified medical conditions. A PTSD specialist is also available. You can schedule an appointment online.
Where are the legal cannabis dispensaries in New Mexico?
Legal marijuana dispensaries are located across the entire state of New Mexico. The majority of them are based in Albuquerque and the northern half of the state.
Once your medical marijuana application is approved, you will receive a list of licensed dispensaries. When new producers are licensed, you will receive the contact information for each new dispensary registered.
Where can I smoke?
Patients with a medical cannabis card cannot use or possess medical marijuana in the following places:
- In a public vehicle
- In the workplace of the patient or primary caregiver
- Public parks
- School grounds or property
- In a recreation center, youth center, or other public places
- On federal property such as airports, national parks, and reservations
Additionally, patients cannot operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of cannabis.
Are patients and caregivers protected from discrimination?
Yes. Primary caregivers must be a resident of New Mexico, and be 18 years of age, or older. Primary caregivers must also be designated by the physician as necessary to take responsibility for managing the well-being of a qualified patient.
The future of the Medical Cannabis Program in NM
Today, more then 11,000 New Mexicans are registered in the Medical Cannabis Program. However, many New Mexico residents believe certain regulations make it difficult to participate in the program.
For example: the New Mexico Department of Health requires to physicians to certify patients with chronic pain. This is a problem for patients who do not have insurance coverage for doctor visits. As a result, many patients bypass the legal medical cannabis program.
Many New Mexico residents are hopeful regulation will change in the future, making participation easier.