The New Mexico Department of Health announced Friday that it is licensing six additional nonprofit producers for its Medical Cannabis program. There are now 11 nonprofits licensed to produce medical cannabis for patients in New Mexico.
“The additional producers will help meet the needs of our patients by making medical cannabis more accessible to patients in all regions of the state,” Health Secretary Alfredo Vigil, MD, said in a news release. “We will continue to evaluate the program to ensure patients’ needs are being met without creating an excess supply of medical cannabis in New Mexico.”
The six new nonprofits are located in Harding, Doa Ana, Lea, Catron, Cibola and Bernalillo counties. Nonprofits previously approved are in Santa Fe, Cibola and Bernalillo counties.
The Department of Health will provide patients with contact information for the newly licensed nonprofit producers in approximately six weeks. This will give the nonprofits time to set up their production facilities and get ready to respond to patient inquiries.
The Department approved the first nonprofit producer in March 2009 and four more in November 2009. Nonprofit producers are allowed to have 95 mature plants and seedlings and have an inventory of usable medical cannabis for patients. Patients can also apply to produce their own supply of medical cannabis and are allowed to have four mature plants and 12 seedlings.
There are 1,952 active medical cannabis patients, and 865 are licensed to produce their own supply of medical cannabis.
To be approved for the medical cannabis program, patients must have a physician certify that they have one of the 16 qualifying conditions that is debilitating and cannot be helped by standard treatments. Certain conditions require additional medical certifications or medical records detailing the condition.
Qualifying conditions for medical cannabis: severe chronic pain, painful peripheral neuropathy, intractable nausea/vomiting, severe anorexia/cachexia, hepatitis C infection currently receiving antiviral treatment, Crohn’s disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Inflammatory Autoimmune-mediated Arthritis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with intractable spasticity, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, and hospice care.
For more information about the Department of Health’s Medical Cannabis Program, look up www.nmhealth.org/idb/medical_cannabis.shtml.