SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) announces the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board has approved the petition to add opioid use disorder as a qualifying condition for the department’s Medical Cannabis Program (MCP) at its March 29 public meeting.
The board voted unanimously 4-0 to support adding the qualifying condition. It is the third time the panel has approved the petition, and the first time it’s voted for the petition since Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham took office in January.
With today’s vote the board is expected to put its recommendations in writing to present to New Mexico Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel, who says she intends to accept this specific recommendation.
“Using medical cannabis is not intended as a substitute to opioids; it is medicine that can alleviate some of the painful symptoms that come with recovering from opioid dependence,” said Kunkel. “Adding this as a qualifying condition for the Medical Cannabis Program is the next step towards this administration’s efforts to continue reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in New Mexico.”
The board today also voted unanimously to recommend adding Substance Abuse Disorder as a qualifying condition, which would address medical disorders related to alcohol, tobacco, stimulants or hallucinogens.
The panel also unanimously passed two additional motions: one to support creating a system in which the MCP would allow patients with personal production licenses to, for a fee, take their plant material to a program-designated manufacturer for processing into to the form of their choice, such as tinctures, edibles, concentrates or more.
The other motion approved addressed a need expressed by some patients for chemically untainted medical cannabis supply. The petition considered today looks at allowing for medicine that is pesticide free.
The motions to support creating customer specific products for personal plant producers and the untainted medicine supply both included decisions to table both petitions presented today pending the Governor’s decision as to whether Senate Bill 406 will be signed into law. That bill includes many changes to the Medical Cannabis Program, and it includes language that addresses the concerns listed in those petitions.
The NMDOH Office of the Secretary is expected to receive the board’s written recommendations on today’s petitions within the next several weeks.